What is the process of 3D Modeling

3D Modelers play a very important role in any 3D animation production studio, especially in the Visual Effects Pipeline.

A skillful 3D modeler would be capable of at least two things: extremely good and clean topology and good development of textures. The best modeler will have more skills than the mentioned two. They have to show a good eye for proportions, silhouette and gesture, not mention to their incredible attention to detail in all aspects.

A modeler may work from scratch from the stage of concept art forming to designing 3D outlines and developing detailed models. A 3D modeler may also work on a given topology to develop the model and ensure it’s ready for the next steps in the pipeline.
In any cases, the 3D modeler has to carry out a good amount of research. Only when the prep is done, could modeling process begin.

Then the modeler will break complex models into pieces or different areas. To be efficient, he has to think of the quickest but most accurate way to start building the main big shape first then the other important pieces. At this point, the 3D modeler would also has to decide whether poly modeling or digital sculpting should be applied.

robot model 2

Next, when the base finished with the correct proportions and gestures, the model can now go ahead with adding details for the base or add more complementary elements to compliments for the model.

To ensure the model meets animators’ requirements for motion, an artist may have to work with the animators who receiving the model to take more information or request to modify. Once the model is finished by 3D modeler accepted by animator and approved by the supervisor, it would be released to the next step of the pipeline.

3D modeling tools or software

Below are the list of popular tools or software in use for 3D modeling:

  • Poly modeling softwares include Max, Maya, Blender
  • Sculpture software: ZBrush, Modo
  • Texturing package: Quixel, Substance, Mari
  • Tender engine: Marmoset, Keyshot, Octane, V-ray
  • Others: UVLayout, Topogun, XNormal

3D Facial modeling

The realistic modeling of human facial features is one of the most challenging.

Computer facial animation is a highly complex field cause it involve very large number of animation variables. Historically speaking, the first SIGGRAPH tutorials in Facial Animation in 1989 proved to be a turning point in the field. They brought together and consolidated multiple research elements.

In 2001, MPEG-4 with 68 Face Animation Parameters for lips, jaws, etc. enabled further significant progress in this field. This boosted an significant increase in the use of facial micro-expression.

When motion capture get more and more sophisticated, the real advancements now are in facial capture.

face modeling

More and more of the subtleties and nuances are now coming through in the facial capture.


Read more >> 3D Animation Modeling Tutorials – Part 1 via this link

Animost – Vietnam 3D Animation Studio

animost team

year end party animost team



Consolidated by Animost in collaboration with Branding Simple

Reference Sources:

  1. Animation World Network: https://www.awn.com/
  2. Cartoon Brew – Technology: https://www.cartoonbrew.com/tech
  3. Befores & Afters – Visual effects and animation journalist: https://beforesandafters.com/
  4. Bloomberg News: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/
  5. Insider: https://www.insider.com/