In general, 3D modeling describes the process of creating mathematically defined computer graphics using a three dimensional coordinate system.

Types of 3D Modeling

  • Subdivision Modeling – Wings 3D is a subdivision modeler. Subdivision describe the process of smoothing a polygon model by subdividing each face of a model into four.
  • NURBS – Nurbs are generally used by CAD modelers. Nurbs are purely mathematically defined shapes. Every curve, edge and surface is defined by mathematical formulae. Nurbs are often used for architectural projects, industrial design, and techincal applications.
  • Voxels – Voxels are like 3D pixels. Voxel modelers tend to support very high levels of detail.


Once a model is finished it can be rendered. Rendering describes the process of using a program to simulate lighting and materials to produce an often realistic image of the model.

Animation and Rigging

Models which are to be animated have to be rigged. Rigging describes the process of setting up a model for animation. Animators will use software to define points of movement and compression in a model. Rigging may be done with bones or mesh deformations, rotations, scaling, and translations.