Hardware And Software Requirements Computer Science Essay

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3D modelers are used in a broad range of industries. The medical business uses them to create thorough models of organs. The movie industry uses them to create and maneuver characters and objects for animated and real-life motion pictures. The video game industry uses them to generate assets for video games. The science sector uses them to create extremely detailed models of chemical compounds. The architecture industry uses them to create models of projected buildings and landscapes. The engineering society uses them to intend novel devices, vehicles and structures as well as a host of other uses. There are usually many stages in the "pipeline" that studios and manufacturers use to create 3D objects for film, games, and production of hard goods and structures.

6.1.2 Features

Several 3D modelers are general-purpose and can be used to generate models of a range of real-world entities, from plants to automobiles to people. Some are exclusively designed to model certain objects, such as chemical compounds or internal organs.

3D modelers permit users to generate and alter models by means of their 3D mesh. Users can stretch, add, subtract, and or else modify the mesh to their desire. Models can be viewed from a variety of angles, generally simultaneously. Models can be rotated and the sight can be zoomed in and out.

3D modelers can export their models to files, which can then be imported into other applications as long as the metadata is well-matched. Several modelers permit importers and exporters to be plugged-in, so they can read and write data in the native formats of other applications.

Majority 3D modelers contain a number of related features, such as ray tracers and other rendering alternatives and texture mapping facilities. Some also enclose features that support or allow animation of models. Some may be able to produce full-motion video of a series of rendered scenes (i.e. animation) Shown in below (Figure 1).

A fundamental comparison including release date/version information can be found on the Comparison of 3D computer graphics software page.

3ds Max (Autodesk), initially called 3D Studio MAX. 3ds Max is used in several industries that utilize 3D graphics. It is used in the video game business for developing models and creating cinema cut-scenes. It is used in architectural visualizations because it is extremely compatible with AutoCAD--also developed by Autodesk. In addition 3ds Max is used in film production, one contemporary film being Kaena: The Prophecy. it is one of the highest expensive products in the market for this type of work.

AC3D (Inivis) is an additional 3D modeling application that began in the 90's on the Amiga platform. Whereas it is used in a numeral industries, MathWorks actively recommends it in many of their aerospace related articles due to price and compatibility. In addition it is the first commercial 3D modeler to integrate full support for exporting models to the metaverse platform Second Life. whereas AC3D does not feature its own renderer, it can generate output files for both RenderMan and POV-Ray among others.

Aladdin4D (DiscreetFX), initialy developed for the Amiga, was originally developed by Adspec Programming in Ohio. It developed an excited following and sold over 18,000 copies on the Amiga platform alone. later than acquired by visual effects company DiscreetFX, the package has finally been repositioned as a multi-platform product for Mac OS X, Amiga OS 4.1, MorphOS, Linux, AROS and Windows.

Blender (Blender Foundation) is a free, open-source, 3D studio for animation, rendering, modeling, and texturing contributing a feature set comparable to commercial 3D animation suites such as Maya, 3ds Max, or Cinema 4D. It contains features such as multi-resolution sculpting; retopology painting. In addition it supports 3D view texture painting; stack based modifier system; flexible particle system with particle based hair; cloth/soft body dynamics, rigid body dynamics and fluid simulation; node based texturing and node based compositing; an integrated non linear video editor; and integrated game engine. Blender is developed beneath the GPL and is accessible on all major platforms including Windows, OS X, Linux, BSD, Sun and Irix. It is presently the only 3D animation suite that is supported both on super computers as well as handheld computers such as the Pocket PC (Pocket Blender).

Carrara (DAZ Productions) is a grown-up, fully-featured 3D tool set package for modeling, texturing, scene rendering and animation.

Cinema 4D (MAXON) is a faintly lighter package than the others in its basic configuration. The software is claimed to be artist-friendly, and is intentionally designed with the less-technical user in mind. It has a lesser initial entry cost due to a modular a-la-carte design for purchasing additional functions as users need them. For instance, a module called MoGraph allows the user to create motion graphics titles more easily. Initially developed for the Commodore Amiga, it is also available for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.

Electric Image Animation System (EI Technology Group) is a 3D animation and depiction package available on both Mac OS X and Windows. Normally known for its description quality and rendering speed it does not include a built-in modeler. EIAS features the aptitude to handle very large polygon counts. Very recently, the blockbuster film "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" and the Television hit "Lost" utilized the software.

form•Z (AutoDesSys, Inc.) is a common purpose solid/surface 3D modeler. Its key usage is modeling, and it also features photo realistic rendering and object-centric animation support. form•Z claims users concerned in architecture, interior design, illustration, product design, and set design. Its basic renderer uses the LightWorks rendering engine for raytracing and radiosity. form•Z also supports Scripts and Plugins and has rendering support via Next Limit's Maxwell Renderer. It has Import/Export capacity and was first released in 1991. It is presently available for both Mac OS X and Windows.

Houdini (Side Effects Software) is typically used for visual effects and character animation as well as used in Disney's The Wild. Houdini uses a substandard interface that it refers to as a "NODE system". Commercial licenses of Houdini include unlimited copies of Side Effects Software's hybrid micropolygon-raytracer renderer, Mantra, but Houdini also includes built-in sustain for commercial renderers like Pixar's RenderMan and mental ray.

Inventor (Autodesk) The Autodesk Inventor product line offers a complete and bendable set of software for 3D mechanical design, tooling creation, product simulation, and design communication that help you cost-effectively take benefit of a Digital Prototyping workflow to design and build enhanced products in less time.

LightWave 3D (NewTek), primarily developed for the Amiga, was initially bundled as part of the Video Toaster package and entered the market as a low cost method for TV production companies to generate quality CG for their programming. At first it gained public attention with its use in the TV series "Babylon 5". Contemporary use in TV production can be seen with the 2004 recreated Battlestar Galactica series and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Other well recognized TV series to use Lightwave are Star Trek Enterprise, Voyager and Deep Space Nine. Lightwave is also used extensively in film production including for recent movies such as 300 and Iron Man.

MASSIVE is a 3D animation system for generating crowd-related visual effects, beleaguered for use in film and television. Originally developed for controlling the large-scale CGI battles in the Lord of the Rings, Massive Software has become an industry standard for digital crowd control in high end animation. Most recently, the software has been utilized for blockbuster feature films including Happy Feet, King Kong, and I, Robot. It is accessible for various Unix and Linux platforms as well as Windows.

Maya (Autodesk) is at present used in the film and television industry. Maya has an eminent learning bow but has developed over the years into an application stand in and of itself through extendibility via its MEL programming language. A normal alternative to using the default built in rendering system named mental ray is Pixar's Renderman. In 2005, Autodesk (makers of AutoCAD), acquired Alias--the novel creator of Maya.

Modo (Luxology) is a subdivision modeling, rendering and texturing tool with support for camera motion and morphs / blendshapes. It is obtainable for both Windows and Mac OS X.

NX (software) (Siemens PLM Software) is an incorporated suite of software for computer-aided mechanical design (mechanical CAM), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and computer-aided engineering (CAE) formed by combining the former Unigraphics and SDRC I-deas software product lines. NX is currently available for the following operating systems: Windows XP and Vista, Apple Mac OS X,, and Novell SUSE Linux. NX is measured to be Siemens high-end mechanical engineering product line.

Silo (Nevercenter) is a subdivision-surface modeler available for Mac OS X and Windows. Silo is the bundled in modeler for the Electric Image Animation System group.

SketchUp Pro (Google) is a 3D modeling package that offers a sketch-based modeling approach. It has a pro version which supports 2-D and 3-D model export functions amid other features. It also has a free version that is incorporated with Google Earth and limits export to Google's "3D Warehouse", where users can share their content.

Softimage (Autodesk) is feature-similar to Maya and is sold as a competitive substitute. It is used in the production of professional films, video games, commercials, and other media. Softimage (formerly Softimage|XSI) is a 3D modeling and animation package that integrates with mental ray rendering. Prior to its attainment by Avid and later Autodesk, Softimage, Co. initially promoted its predecessor (under the name Softimage 3D) for use in the video game industry and secured its promotion as part of the Nintendo N64 SDK.

SolidThinking (solidThinking Ltd) is a 3D solid/surface modeling and depiction software which features a Construction Tree method of development. This is explained as the past of the model construction process allowes real-time updates when modifications are made to points, curves, parameters or entire objects. solidThinking is accessible in four versions: MODELER, MODELER XL, DESIGN, and VANTAGE.

Solid Edge ( Siemens PLM Software) is a commercial application for design, analysis, drafting, and simulation of products, systems, machines and tools. All versions comprise feature-based parametric modeling, assembly modeling, drafting, sheetmetal, weldment, freeform surface design, and data management. Application-programming interfaces facilitate scripting in Visual Basic and C programming. The Solid Edge Velocity sequence is Siemens' mid-range CAD software product family.

SolidWorks (SolidWorks Corporation) is an application used for the design, detailing and corroboration of products, systems, machines and toolings. Every version includes modeling, assemblies, drawing, sheetmetal, weldment, and freeform surfacing functionality. It also has support for scripting in C and Visual Basic. The packages/licenses are: SolidWorks Standard, SolidWorks Professional, SolidWorks Premium, SolidWorks Simulation, SolidWorks Student Design Kit, SolidWorks Education Edition, and SolidWorks Student Edition.

Swift 3D (Electric Rain) Swift 3D is a influential, approachable, and relatively inexpensive 3D design, modeling, and animation application targeted to entry-level 3D users and Adobe Flash designers. Swift 3D is the in effect Mac OS X & Windows application for vector and raster-based 3D animations for Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight XAML. Swift 3D is the simply 3D software to directly integrate with Flash through the Swift 3D File Importer and SmartLayer Technology, which separates the exported 3D animation into different layers (Colors, Outlines, Shadows, Highlights, Reflections and Transparency), giving designers additional creative control. Primarily a pioneer in the 3D-to-vector Flash world, Swift 3D is now accepted as a highly-capable and versatile 3D authoring application, while maintaining its reputation as the marquee tool for producing vector-based 3D content for Flash and Microsoft Silverlight.

TrueSpace (Caligari Corporation) is one more 3D program available for Windows, although the company Caligari first found its start on the Amiga platform. TrueSpace features animation, modeling, 3D-painting, and rendering capabilities. In 2009, Microsoft purchased TrueSpace and at present TrueSpace is obtainable completely free of charge.

Vue (E-on Software) Vue is a tool for creating, animating and depiction natural 3D environments. It was most newly used to create the background jungle environments in the 2nd and 3rd Pirates of the Caribbean films.

ZBrush (Pixologic) is a digital sculpting tool that combines 3D/2.5D modeling, texturing and painting tool obtainable for Mac OS X and Windows.

Other packages

Anim8or is a freeware 3D rendering and animation package.

Animation: Master from HASH, Inc is a animation and modeling package that focuses on simplicity of use. It is based on a spline-based modeler. Its strong point lies in character animation.

Art of Illusion is a free software package urbanized under the GPL.

AutoQ3D is a unique GPLed cross-platform modeler.

Ayam is a freeware and open source 3D modeling environment for the RenderMan interface.

Bryce (DAZ Productions) is essentially well-known for landscapes and creating 'painterly' renderings, as well as its unique user interface.

Cybermotion 3D is a viable 3D modeling, rendering and animation package.

Cheetah3D is first and foremost designed at amateur 3D artists with some medium- and high-end features

DAZ Studio a free 3D rendering tool set for adjusting parameters of preexisting models, posing and rendering them in full 3D scene environments. Imports objects created in Poser and are related to that program, but with fewer features.

DX Studio a absolute integrated development environment for creating interactive 3D graphics. The system includes both a real-time 3D engine and a suite of editing tools, and is the first product to offer a complete range of tools in a single IDE.

FaceGen is a source of human face models for supplementary programs.

Grome is a specialized outdoor scene modeler (terrain, water, vegetation) for games and other 3D real-time applications.

K-3D is a GNU modeling, animation, and rendering system obtainable on Linux and Win32. It is normally make use of RenderMan-compliant render engines. It features scene graph ceremonial modelling similar to that found in Houdini.

MakeHuman is a GPL program that creates 3D parametric humanoids.

MeshLab is a free Linux, Windows and Mac OS X application for simplifying, visualizing, processing and converting large three dimensional meshes to or from a variety of 3D file formats.

MilkShape 3D is a trialware/shareware polygon 3D modelling program with widespread import/export capabilities.

Mudbox Mudbox is a eminent resolution brush-based 3D sculpting program, that claims to be the first of its category. The software was taken by Autodesk in 2007.

OpenFX is a modeling and animation studio, dispersed under the GPL.

Poser (Smith Micro) Poser is a 3D rendering and animation software program optimized for models that portray the human figure in three-dimensional form and is specialized for adjusting features of preexisting character models via varying parameters. It is also for rendering and posing of models and characters. It includes several specialized tools for walk cycle creation, cloth and hair.

RealFlow simulates and renders subdivision systems of rigid bodies and fluids.

Realsoft3D Real3D occupied featured 3D modeling, animation, simulation and rendering software available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Irix.

Rhinoceros 3D is a commercial modeling tool which has outstanding support for freeform NURBS editing.

Seamless3d NURBS based modelling and animation software with a great deal of the focus on creating avatars optimized for real time animation. It is open source, free, under the MIT license.

Wings 3D is a BSD-licensed, division modeler.

Related to 3D software

Swift3D is the tent tool for producing vector-based 3D content for Flash. Also comes in plug-in outline for transforming models in Lightwave or 3DS Max into Flash animations.

Match moving software is generally used to match live video with computer-generated video, keeping the two in sync as the camera moves.

Subsequent to producing video, studios then edit or compound the video using programs such as Adobe opening or Apple Final Cut at the low end, or Autodesk burning, Digital Fusion, Apple Shake at the high end.

MetaCreations Detailer and Painter 3D are discontinued software applications completely for painting texture maps on 3-D Models.


List the various computer softwares used for 3D animation?

Explain the features of computer animated softwares?

Computer hardware

Hardware and software are two of the input factors that conclude the excellence of

computer animation that is fashioned. As both of this method work in conjunction with each other it is important to make the right choice for a product that is of lasting quality and accuracy.

Hardware comes in many shapes, sizes, and capabilities. Numerous hardware is specialized to do only certain tasks while other hardware are equipped for a variety of things. Some of the commonly used hardware are:

6.2.1 Silicon Graphics Inc (SGI):

The SGI platform is one of the most widely used platforms for quality computer

animation productions. SGI computers operate using the wide spread UNIX system.

Produced by Silicon Graphics these computers are enormously fast and produce excellent

results. They come in a range of types, ranging from the general purpose Indy to high

power Indigo Extreme that is used for animations. Onyx is an additional type, which is suited to the complex calculations involved in rendering. Some of the software like Alias, Wavefront, and SoftImage are ran on SGI's.

6.2.2 PC's:

PC's are very versatile machines combining flexibility and power. PC's have established to be very functional for little companies and businesses as platforms to do computer

animation. Applications such as Animator Studio and 3DStudio are used on PC's to

make animations.

6.2.3 Macintosh

Mac's were initially designed for graphic and desktop publishing and hence are attractive

useful platforms for producing computer graphics and animation software. Few of these

applications that work well on Mac's are Adobe Products like; Photoshop and Premiere

and Strata with Strata Studio Pro.

6.2.4 Amiga

Originally owned by Commodore, Amiga computers have held a position in the computer

animation for long. The two software packages that Amiga is allied with are: Video

Toaster, and Light Wave 3D. The novel d'Amiga systems has been customized to be a

great graphics machine.

Sophisticated hardware has to be coupled with a good software to produce good results.

There are literally hundreds of computer animation and graphic software packages.

However, only some are considered good enough.


Define the usage of SGI platform in animation?

List the required hard wares for animation?

3d studio and Rendering box

Autodesk 3ds Max, previously 3D Studio MAX, is a modeling, animation and rendering package developed by Autodesk Media and Entertainment.

Early history & Releases

The novel 3D Studio product was created for the DOS stand by the Yost Group and published by Autodesk. Ensuing to 3D Studio Release 4, the product was rewritten for the Windows NT platform, and re-named "3D Studio MAX." This version was also initially created by the Yost Group. It was released by Kinetix, which was at that time Autodesk's dissection of media and entertainment. Autodesk purchased the product at the second release spot of the 3D Studio MAX version and internalized development entirely over the next two releases. In a while, the product name was changed to "3ds max" (all lower case) to better comply with the naming conventions of Discreet, a Montreal-based software company which Autodesk had purchased. At release 8, the product was again identified with the Autodesk logo, and the name was again changed to "3ds Max" (upper and lower case). At release 2009, product name distorted to "Autodesk 3ds Max".


3ds Max is the third most widely-used off the shelf computer animation program by content creation professionals according to the Roncarelli report. It has rough modeling capabilities, a supple plugin architecture and a long heritage on the Microsoft Windows platform. It is typically used by video game developers, TV commercial studios and architectural visualization studios. It is also used for movie pre-visualization and movie effects.

In adding up to its modeling and animation tools, the most recent version of 3ds Max also features superior shaders (such as ambient occlusion and subsurface scattering), dynamic simulation, particle systems, radiosity, normal map creation and rendering, global illumination, an intuitive and fully-customizable user interface, and its own scripting language. A plethora of dedicated third-party renderer plugins, such as V-Ray, Brazil r/s , Maxwell Render, and finalRender, may be purchased separately.


6.3.1 Polygon modeling

Polygon modeling (Figure 2) is more common with game design than any other modeling technique as the very specific control over individual polygons allows for extreme optimization. Generally, the modeller begins with one of the 3ds max primitives, and using such tools as bevel and extrude, adds detail to and refines the model. Versions 4 and up feature the Editable Polygon object, which simplifies many mesh editing operations, and provides subdivision smoothing at customizable levels.

Figure 2: Polygon modeling

Source: www.onnovanbraam.com/modules/tutorials/images/polygon_modeling.gif

Version 7 initially offers the edit poly modifier, which allows the use of the tools available in the editable polygon object to be used higher in the modifier stack (i.e., on top of other modifications).

6.3.2 NURBS or Non Uniform Relational B-Spline

A added advanced substitute to polygons, it gives a smoothed out outside that eliminates the straight edges of a polygon model. NURBS is a mathematically exact representation of freeform surfaces like those used for car bodies and ship hulls, which can be precisely reproduced at any resolution whenever needed. With NURBS, a flat sphere can be created with only one face.

The non-uniform possessions of NURBS bring up an important point. Since they are generated mathematically, NURBS objects have a parameter space in addition to the 3D geometric space in which they are displayed. Exclusively, an array of values called knots specifies the extent of influence of each control vertex (CV) on the curve or surface. Knots are imperceptible in 3D space and you can't manipulate them directly, but occasionally their behavior affects the visible appearance of the NURBS object. Parameter space is one-dimensional for curves, which have merely a single U dimension topologically, even though they exist geometrically in 3D space. Surfaces have two dimensions in parameter space, known as U and V.

NURBS curves and surfaces have the significant properties of not changing under the standard geometric affine transformations (Transforms), or under perspective projections. The CVs have local control of the object: moving a CV or changing its heaviness does not affect any part of the object beyond the neighboring CVs. (You can override this property by using the Soft Selection controls.) in addition, the control lattice that connects CVs surrounds the surface. This is acknowledged as the convex hull property.

6.3.3 Surface tool/Editable patch object

Surface tool was initially a 3rd party plugin, but Kinetix acquired and included this feature since version 3.0. The surface tool is for creating general 3ds max's splines, and then applying a modifier called "surface." This modifier makes a surface from every 3 or 4 vertices in a grid. This is repeatedly seen as an alternative to 'Mesh' or 'Nurbs' modeling, as it enables a user to interpolate curved sections with straight geometry (for example a hole through a box shape). Though the surface tool is a useful way to generate parametrically accurate geometry, it lacks the 'surface properties' found in the similar Edit Patch modifier, which enables a user to maintain the original parametric geometry whilst being able to adjust "smoothing groups" between faces.


Scanline rendering

The default rendering technique in 3DS Max is scanline rendering. Numerous advanced features have been added to the scanliner over the years, such as global illumination, radiosity, and ray tracing.

mental ray

mental ray is a production quality renderer integrated into the later versions of MAX, and is a powerful rendering tool, with bucket rendering, a technique that distributes the rendering burden between several computers efficiently. The 3ds Max version of mental ray also comes with a set of tools that permit a myriad of effects to be created with relative ease.


A third party connection tool to RenderMan pipelines is also available for those that need to integrate Max into Renderman render farms.


A third-party cause to be engine plug-in for 3D Studio MAX. It is broadly used, frequently substituting the standard and mental ray renderers which are included bundled with 3ds Max. V-Ray continues to be well-matched with older versions of 3ds Max.

Brazil R/S

A third-party high-quality photorealistic rendering system created by SplutterFish, LLC capable of fast ray tracing and global illumination.


Another third-party raytracing render engine created by Cebas. Capable of simulating a broad range of real-world physical phenomena.

Indigo Renderer

A third-party photorealistic renderer with plugins for 3ds max.

Maxwell Render

A third-party photorealistic rendering system created by Next Limit Technologies providing robust materials and highly accurate unbiased rendering.

BIGrender 3.0

Another third-party rendering plugin. Capable of overcoming 3DS depiction memory limitations with rendering huge pictures.


a) Define how Polygon modeling is used in computer animation?

b) Define the term Rendering in computer animation?

6.4 Summary

This is the sixth module for the Principles and Design of Animation course. This module explains the 3D computer graphics software used to create 3D computer-generated imagery. Additionally it explains about features and uses of the software.

In this chapter you have learnt Major software packages that are available in market. Additionally this gives a basic comparison of 3D computer graphics software page

In addition, this chapter also explains some of the commonly used hardware such as Silicon Graphics Inc, PC's, Macintosh, Amiga.

Finally this chapter also illustrates the concept of 3D Studio MAX, a process of modeling, animation and rendering package developed by Autodesk Media and Entertainment.


3D modelers

3ds Max


NURBS or Non Uniform Relational B-Spline

Polygon modeling