About 3D CGI | History, Clients, and How 3D CGI Rendering Work

About 3D CGI | History, Clients, and How 3D CGI Rendering Work

Educating Clients
1 month ago

What is 3D CGI in a sentence?

In a world dominated by digital media, from blockbuster films to video game landscapes, a specific term often surfaces, capturing the essence of our visual experience: 3D CGI Rendering. CGI, which stands for Computer Generated Imagery, refers to creating graphical content using computing power.

None of these images you will see throughout the post are real. They are all 3D CGI Rendering. Created by our 3D Artists at 7CGI studio. We created these for furniture brands, jewelry companies, Interior Designers, Real estate companies, homeowners, gaming companies, Clothing resellers, phone brands, cosmetics brands, and many other consumer products brands as if anyone can benefit from 3D CGI Rendering.

A Brief History of 3D CGI

1960s: The first known instance of computer animation was created in 1961 by Edward E. Zajac. It was a simple simulation of a two-gyro gravity-gradient attitude control system. In 1963, Ivan Sutherland introduced "Sketchpad," often considered the first computer graphics program. It allowed users to manipulate visual objects in real-time. In this early age, only the film industry used 3D CGI in its production. Some argue that the Aerospace industry would also use the tech for flight simulators, providing pilots with a rudimentary visual interface for training.

In the 1970s Automotive industry started using computer-aided design (CAD) tools, marking the initial stages of 3D modeling for car design.

In the 1980s, Video gaming and medical imaging started using 3D CGI Rendering. 3D CGI started to become more mainstream in this decade.

In the 1990s "Jurassic Park" (1993) featured CGI-rendered dinosaurs, setting new standards for visual realism in movies. 3D Software allowed architects to create detailed 3D visualizations of structures, revolutionizing the design and presentation processes.

In the 2000s Fashion and Advertising industries joined with the others. This was when the rise of photorealism happened. Movies like "Avatar" (2009) pushed CGI to photorealistic levels.

By the 2010s, 3D CGI Rendering has become instrumental. Almost anyone with a product or idea is taking advantage of 3D CGI Rendering Technology.

Drop me a message if you are still not using 3D CGI or don’t know how to integrate 3D CGI into your pipeline.

Industries taking advantage of 3D CGI

1. Film and Entertainment Industry

    Why: To create visually compelling scenes, animate characters, and fabricate worlds that would be costly or impossible to achieve with practical effects.

    How: Through the use of software like Autodesk Maya, Blender, or Cinema 4D, artists model, texture, and animate 3D scenes and characters. Post-production integrates these visuals into the film.

2. Video Gaming

    Why: To design immersive, interactive, and realistic game environments and characters.

    How: Game engines like Unity or Unreal Engine allow developers to integrate 3D models, animations, and landscapes to create interactive experiences for players.

3. Advertising

    Why: To create eye-catching visuals, showcase products in unique ways, and develop memorable commercials.

    How: Ad agencies employ CGI artists to create 3D renderings of products, animate logos, or design entirely CGI-driven commercials.

4. Architecture

    Why: To visualize and present architectural designs and concepts before they are built.

    How: Using software like SketchUp or Revit, architects create detailed 3D models of structures, allowing clients to take virtual tours or see different design options.

CGI Exterior Rendering by 7CGI

5. Automotive Manufacturing

    Why: To visualize and test car designs before producing physical prototypes.

    How: Engineers use CGI software to model car designs, simulate crash tests, and even create promotional materials for upcoming vehicles.

Vehicle Rendering by 7CGI

6. Fashion and Apparel

    Why: To visualize clothing designs on virtual models, saving time and resources on prototyping.

    How: Designers utilize 3D modeling software to craft clothing items, which are then virtually draped on avatars to examine fit, drape, and style.

Product Rendering By 7CGI Studio

7. Medical Imaging and Healthcare

    Why: To provide clear visualizations of complex biological processes, intricate surgeries, or detailed anatomical structures.

    How: Medical professionals use CGI to turn data from MRI and CT scans into 3D visual models, aiding in diagnosis and treatment planning.

8. Education and Training

    Why: To offer interactive learning experiences, especially for complex or dangerous subjects.

    How: Educational institutions and companies employ 3D CGI Rendering to create simulations, virtual labs, or interactive modules, enhancing comprehension and engagement.

9. Real Estate and Interior Design

    Why: To give potential buyers a virtual tour of properties or visualize design changes before implementing them.

    How: Using software like 3ds Max, designers can model interiors, decorate spaces, or give virtual walkthroughs of yet-to-be-built homes.

Interior Rendering by 7CGI Studio

10. Aerospace and Defense

    Why: To simulate flights, design aircraft, or visualize spatial missions.

    How: Aerospace engineers use CGI to model aircraft designs, run flight simulations, or visualize spacecraft trajectories and landings.

How Does 3D CGI Rendering Work?

3D Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) has become an integral part of our visual experience, whether it’s through movies, video games, advertisements, or virtual simulations. But how does this technology translate abstract digital commands into lifelike landscapes, creatures, and phenomena? Let's take a closer look.

1. Modeling: Crafting the Base

At the heart of every CGI scene or character is a 3D model. Artists use specialized software to "sculpt" digital objects, much like how a sculptor would shape clay. These models are comprised of vertices, edges, and faces forming polygons, usually triangles or quadrilaterals.

2. Texturing: Painting the Surfaces

Once modeled, the object appears plain and lacks detail. This is where texturing comes into play. Artists wrap 2D images, called textures, around their 3D models. Imagine wrapping a gift – the paper pattern is the texture, the box shape is the model. Specular maps (for shininess), bump or normal maps (for surface detail), and displacement maps (for depth) add further realism.

3. Rigging: Giving Flexibility

For models that need to move, especially characters, a digital "skeleton" is created. This skeleton, comprised of bones and joints, allows animators to move characters by posing the skeleton rather than reshaping the model itself.

4. Animation: Breathing Life

With the model rigged, animators can start making it move. Using keyframes, animators define a model's position, rotation, and scale at specific points in time. The software then interpolates between these keyframes, creating fluid motion.

5. Lighting: Setting the Mood

Like in traditional photography, lighting in CGI is crucial. Artists place virtual light sources within a scene to mimic real-world lighting conditions, be it the soft light of a cloudy day or the harsh shadows of a streetlamp at night. Proper lighting accentuates detail and sets the mood.

6. Rendering: Capturing the Shot

Perhaps the most computationally intensive step, rendering, is where everything comes together. Software calculates how light interacts with objects, considering textures, shadows, reflections, and more, to produce a 2D image or sequence of images. Depending on the complexity, rendering can range from seconds to days per frame.