Designers are always faced with a variety of problems when it comes to getting art done. Choosing the form, the medium is one of them. And going 2D vs. 3D is always a hard decision. What is a poor artist to do? What can an art director think in such a situation? Obviously, they have to come to the conclusion that 3D is the way to go. It‘s always the way to go! And here are several reasons why!
First of all, 3D is impressive. It‘s the most intense visual medium that we have now. And the most immersive, too! Nothing can recreate the depth of th world in same way that 3D can. There‘s a good reason why cartoon movies moved away from 2D drawings to 3D. If you want to portray something in a really cool way, you go 3D. If you want your interactive feature to look great, you go 3D. If you don‘t want your game to be limited in scope and depth, you go 3D. And you know what also loves 3D? Virtual reality. As you can already see, virtual reality holds the key to the future of interactivity, from businesses to arts and websites. And with the likes of Entiti app or the upcoming Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap devices, augmented reality is going to be big thing, too. And with that, you want 3D!
Believe it or not, 3D is both easier and cheaper than 2D art. With 2D, you would need to draw and redraw each thing and character that interacts in the scene. You can‘t fudge anything, because that will look cheap and unprofessional. And you have to have a really great 2D artist to stand out. However, the end result will still lack the depth and interactivity of 3D art. 3D however, is extremely welcoming. If you want to go in without a upfront investment, you can start with Blender, a totally free and extremely powerful 3D modeling and animation program. It is provided with extensive documentation and its large community of designers and modelers have created a plethora of free tutorials and lessons to get you started. And if you don‘t want to deal with modeling things yourself, you can always turn to online 3D model marketplaces like CGTrader. If you‘re lucky, the models you want and need might turn out to be free. And even if you‘re paying for the model, it‘s a lot cheaper (and faster) than having it made for you!
You know what is also free for 3D? Video game engines. 2016 is a monumental year for game development because many of mainstream, AAA game engines have become free of charge. Cryengine was the latest to join this cadre of software that already contains the insanely popular Unreal Engine and Unity. Depending on your needs, you can freely choose the engine that suits you – for example, Amazon‘s Lumberyard is chock-full of online and multiplayer support features. Many of those engines make video game development easier by providing you with visual based programing: you don‘t need to write code, you only need to connect nodes of behaviours.
Both 3D and game engines are important parts of virtual reality. Do you want your stuff presented in VR? Yes, you do! Many major players are wading into the field, from documentaries by New York Times to AAA game studios. But you needn‘t go that far: for your purposes, a presentation that could run on Google Cardboard – the cheapest and the most accessible VR HMD – would be enough. Besides, if it runs well and looks good on Cardboard, it will be good on other VR devices too. 3D is king in VR, and you will need low polygon models: they are simpler in their design (oh look, here‘s the ease of modeling coming again) but more intricate in texture (as it has to convey the details not present on the model). Luckily for you, online stock 3D model marketplaces are full of low polygon models ready for games and VR.
In the end, whatever your product, service or website is, you can rely on 3D to make it better. 3D has never been so easy to get into to, so friendly in implementation and so vital in getting the leg up on the competition. So don‘t be left out of the race, grab your chance to have your product go 3D, and seize the day in a future that‘s both augmented and virtual!