What’s 3D Modeling and 3D Rendering?


For many people at product design companies, the phrases “3D modeling” and “3D rendering” are essentially the same thing. However, this is not completely accurate. They each involve a digital visual representation of an object using CAD )computer-aided design) software and are sections of a 3D workflow. Nevertheless, each term reflects a different set of processes and results. 3D modeling outranks rendering in the workflow, which means you can have a 3D model completed without having to render an image at a product design and development company but not vice-versa.

Being aware of the basic differences lets you, as a client, understand what you are after and what type of product design services to hire for your next project. 

What Are 3D Modeling Services?

The primary purpose of 3D modeling is to generate a virtual three-dimensional representation of an object on a computer screen. Revolving on the software used, a 3D object can be produced by techniques such as digital sculpting, polygonal modeling, curve modeling, laser scanning, and kitbashing. Under the circumstances, there are different file formats too. 

Typically, a computer tackles every command in CAD software as a set of mathematical formulas then reads out the output as a visual point. To create a 3D model, the modeler or artist triggers a set of commands or inputs in CAD software for the computer to carry out and represent the results as a digital drawing of the object. Different from a traditional picture, a 3D image is three-dimensional and visible no matter where you are looking at it from. 

These are the three different types of 3D models:

Solid modeling

Every 3D solid model at product design companies is made from three-dimensional fundamental shapes such as cylinders, spheres, cones, cubes, and rectangular prisms. Each of them behaves with one another as building blocks, which can subtract or add from each other to produce the desired shape of the object. If CAD software has modifiers, you can produce an object as one that you were physically grinding it. Solid modeling is pretty much a plain-dealing process that gives priority to dimension accuracy in digital prototyping. 

Wireframe modeling

In situations where a 3D object has complex surfaces and curves, the wireframe technique is the way forward. Normally, wireframe modeling uses triangles as its fundamental element, lots of triangles, or else planar shapes that bring in a higher level of realism. The final drawing shows the structural framework of an object as “metal wires” that link to the vertices. A wireframe model doesn’t have a visible surface, which lets the internal components displayed to view.

Surface Modeling 

The most intricate out of the three, surface modeling, uses guiding lines to find out the curvature and shape of an object, or at least parts of it. The technique is very useful when the 3D object requires smooth surfaces and seamless merging between them. Surface modeling can effortlessly construct complex objects that are probably almost impossible to produce using either solid or wireframe techniques. 

No matter the type, the output image of a 3D modeling work is always a digital file. For it to become a physical object, it has to go through more processes to change it from a digital file into something more tangible such as 3D printing, product prototyping, and milling. Additionally, you can convert the 3D object into hyper-realistic digital and physical imagery, such as videos or pictures, via a rendering process. 

A product design services company that offers 3D modeling services may not always provide 3D rendering. You can find some that are experts in rendering, even though they provide both. Modeling and rendering need different techniques, and specialization usually generates better outcomes. Make certain you have all the necessary information about what you require and talk to individuals prior to hiring the service. 

What’s 3D Rendering Services

Rendering first happened in 1964 when a man named William Fetter, an art director at The Boeing Company, used a computer o draw an image of a pilot. This was the first computer-generated model of a human figure. In 1975, a computer scientist named Martin Newell produced a 3D test model referred to as the “Utah Teapot”, which is ow the standard reference object for rendering. This teapot was recognizable when it came to computer graphics since it was equal to the “Hello World” in computer programming study.

Rendering interprets data included in a 3D object to a more understandable, easier-to-perceive form of a digital image. If needs be, a render artist can put more data or photorealistic effects to change texture, color, shadow, lighting, and viewing angle.

Similar to 3D modeling, an artist may render a 3D object using many different techniques:


Rasterization was one of the first rendering techniques and treats a 3D object as a combination of polygons. Vertices of the polygons, which fundamentally act like borders, are steeped with information to give the object textures, colors, and position. Then the vertices full of data are then projected onto a plane. When this happens, only vertices are filled with data. The next step is to fill all the other pixels with the proper colors to finish the rendering process.

Ray Casting

As the name suggests, the technique involves casting rays of color ad texture upon the model from the expected point of view. By solution, the rendered image is two-dimensional, so you can only receive one particular camera angle at a time. The ray casting technique elongates every pixel. If there is an overlapping surface, only the layer on the top, which is the surface first in contact by the rays, will be displayed in the render. 

Ray Tracing 

The biggest disadvantage of ray casting is that it can’t stimulate shadows appropriately. Therefore, to improve this technique, there is ray tracing, which functions in the same way at the first step. Nevertheless, right when the first rays reach the object, they release secondary rays to produce shadows. Surfaces’ properties figure out whether shadows exist or not. For instance, when the surface prevents the rays or light source.