Difference between Modeling for Games and Modeling for Movies

September 7, 2016

    Let it be 3DsMax or Maya, 3D designers and modelers primarily use most of the same tools and techniques to achieve a stunning piece of work. Having said that, no matter if the tools and techniques remain same in both modeling for movies and modeling for games still the process followed differ a lot and so are the limitations. With more than a decade of experience in Designs industry and having worked for numerous modeling assignments, here we would like to share some of the critical pointers out of our experience.

    Designers get an open hand when it comes to the polygon budget for development of movies as compared to the polygon budget limitation in game development process. Let it be an animated movie like ‘How to train your Dragon’ or ‘Finding Nemo’ or a live action film with integrated computer graphics like ‘Pacific Rim’, there’s no limit on the amount of polygons in any given model. The only constraint designer of movie modeling face is the limitation of time. Like any other production house movie production also follows a deadline which technically means designers need to produce stunning looking models on time as the result designers for movies get freehand to use range of polygons to get the model look striking on screen.

    The luxury of frames getting pre-rendered in movies is a big limitation for Games even today. Games are limited by the power of the game engine and the hardware it’s being played on. Despite of Hardware advancements with gaming consoles like Xbox One and PS4 still the processing capabilities can’t be compared with movies and game designers still face limitation of polygon budgets. The games are rendered in real-time right in front of the player hence to get the game running at a constant frame rate and maintaining it throughout the gameplay the 3D models must be created by the 3D modelers / designers at a level that’s not taxing on the game engine. There could be thousands of visual models getting rendered real time on screen as the player play their game.

    One of the promising guiding principles we follow in our studio for Game modeling is to present details via textures. Since the polygon budget for Game modeling remains low our designer rely heavily on textures to present model details, which in turn goes with an ease in real time rendering environment; but a word of caution to budding designers – very critical point to remember while using texture to represent details is that one needs to learn details of texturing process along with properly laying out the UVs for a model before taking up a game modeling assignment.

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    2 responses to “Difference between Modeling for Games and Modeling for Movies”

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