3D Modeling vs 3D Rendering: A Comprehensive Comparison

architect drawing plan

3D rendering and 3D modeling are different parts of the three-dimensional workflow. Modeling in 3D involves the development of mathematical representations of a living or inanimate object. After the object has successfully been presented as a three-dimensional model, rendering then follows.

3D rendering helps transform modeling byproducts into a video, animation, or photorealistic image. Meaning, when an object is transposed into a 3D model, it can be given physical properties to demonstrate how it would exist in the real world.

3D Modeling vs 3D Rendering

3D Modeling

3D modeling is the process of making objects that are three-dimensional.

Three-dimensional modeling is often used as part of a broad range of ventures including: computer games, 3D printing, television and movies, VR, CAD processing and CAD/CAM assembling, as well as medicinal and logical imaging.

Without the presence of a three-dimensional model, it’s not possible to make sense of a three-dimensional print. In addition, it is also impossible to carry out 3D visualization when there’s no 3D model present. Render Vision notes that this is why modeling is considered the pre-production process and rendering serves as post-production.

graphic tablet 3d drawingAmong the most common software used in 3D model creation include Maya Revit, 3DS Max, Blender, and SketchUp.

3D Rendering

Three-dimensional rendering is a process similar to that of photography. A 3D model that’s rendered in real-time, offers a clearer vision of a particular design than that of a plotted drawing.

Industries that make use of 3D rendering the most are marketing, engineering, advertising, architecture, gaming, and cinema.

Rendering paves the way for making pictures into raster files from the three-dimensional objects that are seen on a particular scene.

Renders are utilized to determine the specific look of materials that were joined to any articles that are present in a certain scene. It is also used to ascertain shadows and lighting regardless of the existing ambient light in a particular scene.

It is also possible to adjust the exposure and ecological settings of a render, so the final picture can be better controlled. Rendering a high-quality 3D scene will generally take several days to complete even though it’s for a single image.

Prior to 3D visualization of a scene, artists perform the animating and modeling processes first. This is the most basic difference between 3D modeling and visualization.

The most common software used to create 3D renders are Lumion, Autodesk Maya, I-Ray, V-Ray, and Maxwell Render.

using protractor sketchIllustrating the Difference

Picture a sculptor creating a bowling ball. The sculptor creates a sphere that’s the right shape and size. The surface is then manipulated to make it appear smooth. Holes are then drilled so as to fit specific finger sizes. Think of the sculptor as  the 3D modeler and the bowling ball as the 3D model.

You can equate 3D rendering to visiting a bowling alley and taking a picture of the bowling ball. You will likely see the textures and colors of the ball as well as the wooden floor paneling. After looking closer at the specific details you’ll start to notice the light being reflected off the ball as well as other ambient lighting. As well as various texture differences from the surrounding carpet and smoothness of the wood surface the ball glides on.

In this case, the photographer is the 3D renderer and the picture is the render.

The Simple Answer

3D modeling uses computer software in order to generate a 3D object. This object is then able to be edited or viewed as a three-dimensional object in space. 3D rendering takes a 3D object and transposes a two-dimensional image of the object in a particular setting.