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Designing 3D Models and Vectors for Augmented Reality

According to Wikipedia, 3D modeling is the process of developing a mathematical representation of any surface of an object in three dimensions via specialized software. In simple terms, it is basically recreating any object, either living or inanimate, as how we see in real life. Usually when we see something on our computer screens, we can only see one side of the object, which is called two dimensional. But when we can see all the sides of that same entity from all the angles, it is called three dimensional. Recreating it through specialized softwares on our computers is known as 3D modelling.

A vector can be defined as having both a direction and magnitude i.e. the length. It is represented by an arrow, which has both a direction and magnitude. In layman terms, it is used to show the direction and the force of an object through the representation of an arrow. Geometrically, we can picture a vector as a directed line segment, whose length is the magnitude of the vector and with an arrow indicating the direction.

Augmented Reality is mixture of real world and the virtual world to bring forth something in the real world with additional information without the object actually being there. In other words, it helps us visualize things through the help of modern technologies and interact with them to help us understand how it would look and feel in the real world. It makes a mockup of an object in the real world to give us information about it.

Meshing these two concepts together, designers use 3D softwares like Maya, Cinema4D and Blender to bring objects that we see in our screens to something that we can virtually interact with. It uses technology like our phone’s camera to show something, like a furniture, that you might want to see how it would look in your room and help you visualize it, without having the actual thing. The concepts of vectors and 3D modeling is used in Augmented Reality (AR) to visualize not just small objects, but even township plans and even explore the solar system, with the help of all the mathematical data that the designers and illustrators are provided with.

AR is one of the new concepts that more and more companies are adopting, along with Virtual Reality (VR), which is basically manipulating one’s reality to something artificial with the help of a VR viewing device. Illustrators have been toying with the concept of designing 3D models for a long time; but they were unable to utilize and bring to fruition their ideas until recently, when this technology was invented. It is widely believed that both AR and VR are the future of many businesses like advertising, marketing and many more, since a lot of information can be displayed without having to move much. One of the most popular examples of AR is the widely-known mobile game called ‘Pokémon Go’, which uses a user’s mobile phone’s camera to help them capture Pokémon in the real world. It feels as if the game’s creations are really in front of the user, such has been the extent of this technology.

Besides games, it is also used in other fields like medical, engineering, mapping the Earth and virtually anything which can be helpful for humans. Designers use the various softwares and other data provided to make an accurate representation of the object, for people to better understand something and if possible, interact with the virtual object to make changes. It really is a fascinating concept which is just being explored, and there is so much more to come in the future.

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This article was written by Rohan Sarkar. Rohan is an illustrator based in Canada.

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