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Chapter 6. 3-D Animation > The 3-D Process

The 3-D Process

As 3-D has become more popular, software developers have begun to make their software easier to use. (This is partly chicken-and-egg; easier software is much more popular than difficult.) This ease of use comes with the tight integration of the various steps of making 3-D scenes and animations, as well as in the user-friendly interfaces that cover up the technical intricacies of 3-D. For most purposes, however, the 3-D animation process is still easiest to understand when you break it into four general categories: modeling, scene building, animation, and rendering.

Modeling

Modeling is the task of building 3-D wireframe models by using methods that are often similar to building real objects from clay, wood, or plastic. Many kinds of geometric operations are used to create 3-D objects from simple 2-D shapes. A short list includes extrusion, beveling, revolving (or lathing), sweeping, lofting, Booleans, deformations, metaballs, and stitching of meshes.


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