What is 3d rendering?
Have you been to the movies to watch one of those pretty cool
animated films such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Hotel Transylvania or
Despicable Me? Have you ever gotten to wonder how those characters and
worlds were created? What about those great video games with slick,
smooth 3D graphics? Have you ever stopped to think how they managed to
make the hair of your favorite character look so awesomely real? Well,
it is about time you noticed it is all because of the magic that is 3D
3D Rendering is a process by which 3D images, wireframe models or data are automatically converted into images through the use of a computer and 3D rendering software in order to achieve a very realistic image of such object from many different perspectives. It is an advanced form of rendering which is used in many different fields such as video games, movies, visual effects and much other more. There are many methods for 3D rendering nowadays with some more advanced than others. Also, some methods might take just seconds to complete whilst others can take weeks even with the fastest of computers. This has to do with the degree of detail, features, software used, etc.
3D Rendering can be performed in a real-time or a non-real-time fashion depending on the desired effect. Real-time rendering is reserved for video games or things which can be cataloged as interactive like 3D tours of houses, cities, etc. In those cases, the rendering should be done so the most photo-realism can be achieved through the processing of as many images as the eye can detect in as little time as possible, which means that you get to feel the images you are watching are more realistic because the animation is fluent and so your brain processes the information as it is shown. The average frame rate in real-time rendering ranges between 20 to 120 frames per second. On top of that, there are additional visual effects which can be achieved through this type of rendering.
On the other hand, non-real time rendering is reserved for things which are not regarded as interactive: for instance, animations, feature films or video in general. In nonreal-time rendering, the average frame rate per second is very low in order to focus on a higher image quality which is then displayed at high frame rates so the eye can process those images as if they were moving.
There are many other techniques involved in achieving more realism and other effects in nonreal-time rendering such as ray tracing, radiosity, particle systems, caustics, volumetric sampling, subsurface scattering and many others.
3D Rendering can be kind of expensive due to the extensive amount of resources needed for it. However, there are many ways to lower its costs, and as computers evolve so does 3D rendering and the way it is done. More realistic renderings can be achieved nowadays in less time and with lower costs than 5 years ago, which makes the future of 3D rendering brighter by the minute.