Archiform 3D


Such a little acronym has meant so much over the last 20 years, well at least for us it has. It has changed so many things, such as design, presentation, prototyping, simulations and gaming. 3D takes us places that don't exist yet and shows us things that have yet to be made. In fact 3D can show us things that cant possibly be made or seen any other way.

Artistry meets technology

Computer technology is what brought us 3D. As processors got faster their ability to render 3D objects got better. The calculations can be immense and the first computer systems would have taken years to display even simple 3D scenes. Each year new technology was developed both in how 3D is calculated and how it is displayed, and now the quality is so good that people cant tell a photograph from 3D anymore. We can actually achieve perfection on every job given enough time and money, but budget and deadlines often lead to small compromises that are still almost undetectable.

The software used for creating 3D scenes is very complex, mainly due to the many options involved. Each piece of a scene, such as an object (3D Mesh), building, light, texture or environment has hundreds or even thousands of variations. A 3D Artist needs to be skilled in the technology and talented in layout and perception to be successful. The role of the 3D Artist has even fragmented into specialties such as character animation.

3D Renderings

Renderings are now the mainstay of many marketing campaigns, especially real estate, which has evolved significantly over the years to an industry that sells mainly prior to construction. Renderings show what is going to happen on paper or the web, normally showing key areas and interiors.

3D Renderings are also used to portray things that may already be build now but appear better in a 3D environment. For example, a watch or cell phone may be much easier to show as a 3D Rendering than as a real photograph.

3D Animations

Taking renderings a step further, 3D animation is simply the playback of sequenced renderings to form a movie. They are used in small productions like TV commercials and extend to entire movies, like Shrek, Toy Story, etc. To produce 3D Animations we deploy large arrays of computer hardware called a Render Farm, which breaks down the intense computational burden of producing so many images.

3D Enhanced Video

3D can actually be combined with real video, enhancing shots or adding features that aren't really there. This is often used in techniques like camera tracking or motion capture. For example, we have many samples of 3D buildings put into real aerial footage, showing exactly how the finished development will look. Some Character Animators use motion tracking too, which records the movement of an actor so it can be applied to a 3D Character. A perfect example is the character "Golem", a sinister character in the move "The Lord of the Rings", who is really a 3D creature with the movement taken from a real actor. The character was then put into a real life scene with real actors.

3D Effects

3D can be used to create effects that would be too difficult or impossible in real life. This could be explosions, car chases or wild action that if shot in reality would involve too much destruction and defy the laws of physics. Next time you see a helicopter do a crazy stunt in a movie you should consider that you may really be watching 3D.

3D Virtual Reality

For years now people have been trying to bridge 3D with a human interface, therefore creating a virtual environment that appears to the viewer as being real and impressive. 3D goggles and other pieces of technology try to fool out eyes so as the brain thinks we are somewhere that we are not, but so far none of the available technology can come close to a real experience. A completely realistic virtual reality is apparently still far into the future.

USA toll free 877 285 1049
Miami: 786 866 5931
New York: 646 485 1085
Los Angeles: 213 596 9108
Australia: 07 3040 0904

Copyright >