Digital 3D can be used to produce 3D environments very effectively. This is down to;
- The amount of detail that can be created using 3D shapes
- The quality of the rendering possible
- The fact that environments can be animated
- Digital 3d can be made interactive, allowing 3D environments to be explored.
3D environments can be simple or extremely detailed and can look completely different from each other.
Some 3D game environments have real- time effects like changes in weather and lighting to show time of day.
The most popular software for making 3D environments for games is Autodesk 3D studio max. Autodesk 3D studio max is only one ingredient for making games you also need a game engine.
This is an example of a 3D Environment it was made with 3D studio max. It shows the effectiveness of making 3D environments with Digital 3D and points out 3D shapes with a lot of detail and also illustrates the quality of rendering that can be achieved using digital 3D.
These are examples of an interactive 3D environment that is part of a computer game; it was made using 3D Studio Max. I have shown the environment finished as a screen shot of a game and also an image of the environment as it was being made.
The environment is the world where the game takes place and can be explored by the player. This environment is quite detailed and the meshes and textures used to make it must have been quite complex.
Not all 3D environments are this detailed, to show this I have also included an example of a 3D environment that is simple to show exactly how different 3D environments can be.
This example of a 3D environment is really simple; all of the objects in this environment are made from simple shapes and simple textures. It is not very detailed at all and shows just how different 3D environments can be.
Some software is more suitable for creating 3D environments of the natural world because they are specifically made for 3D terrain construction. These programs include Eon Vue D'esprit, Daz Bryce and Worldbuilder and are compatible with other 3D construction software such as 3Ds max, Maya, lightwave and softimage.
This is an example of a 3D environment of the natural world that has been made using the Worldbuilder program. The artist has used the program to produce geological formations, water, clouds, sunlight and trees which are clearly labelled in this example. The Worldbuilder program is particularly suitable for creating 3D environments because it lets the 3d artist make entire forests from a single tree or an entire lawn from a single blade of grass. WorldBuilder has more plants included than any other terrain generation tool and the plants are not static, which means you have endless plant and tree variations.
Rendered static images of 3D environments can be used as illustrations for such things as architectural visualisation, historical reconstruction and training/education. They can also be rendered animated for use in TV and film
This is an example of a 3D environment that has been used for an architectural visualisation illustration. For the purpose of illustration only the parts of the environment that will be seen in the illustration need to be modelled.