3D Models Buying Guide Part 1
3D Models Buying Guide Part 1 is a quick guide for those who aren’t deeply in making 3D models but would like to use them for different projects such as animation renders and/or video games.
A model/mesh/object is setup by points/vertex, edges and polygons.These together are the actual geometry of the model.
As the name suggests these are points.By linking them in a proper way they make polygons.
Polygons are basically flat surface elements (tiles) that form the model and setup the geometry.
Edges connect points.If you purchase 3D models you should focus on polygons and points.I just mention edges here because this is an essential part of the geometry too.
Triangle Mesh Geometry
Triangles mostly used in video games but because every game engine do the triangle conversion on import just flawlessly it’s fine if you license quad meshes for video gamesOf course, tri meshes are great too.The engine will just use the model without converting quads to tris (it won’t make more tris from tris)
Important : triangle count is cc. double the quad count.For example if you buy a model with 13000 quads that would mean cc. 26000 tris.The point/vertex number will be the same for both.
Quad Mesh Geometry
Quad is used mostly in the CGI (Computer Generated Imagery/Computer Graphics) world such as 3D renders for films, advertisements etc.
Does this mean that trigons geometry cannot be used for 3D renders?
No, those can be perfectly used as well.
Then why not everyone does use triangles?
Because quads will give you wider flexiblity to change the model and also better quality renders can be expected by using quad geomtery with less possible shading issues.Altough there is a price to pay for better quality and this is render time.Also it’s more convenient to work/modeling/UV mapping with quads.Quad geometry is basically the industry standard for CGI (computer generated imagery) renders such as films/advertisments.Basically anything that doesn’t need to be rendered in real-time.
Artist use quads when modeling.No one uses triangles in the modeling stage.Triangles is an extra step to make for game optimization.
Triangles are optimized for performance that’s why the video game industry use triangles.Video game models have to be real-time ready which means they are being rendered in real-time.That’s why triangle based geomtery is the standard for the video game industry.
N-gons are polygons that has more than 4 points/edges.Basically every polygon that is not quad or tri.
Many people say that N-Gons are from the devil and you always have to avoid them.I’m not going to go into this subject really.What I can say is that you should avoid using N-gons but if the model has some and that’s not causing shading errors then there is nothing to worry about.
Important : before you license a 3d model always check the wireframe preview image(s).If there is no wireframe image for the model then the owner might be hiding something (or just simply forgot it) that could cause you issues.In this case, ask the owner to clarify or search for another model.
The geometry performace is rather decided by the number of points/vertex not the nubmer of polygons.You might hear conversations like this : I need a model for my game.Then that – How many polys this model has? – the real question is how many points / vertexes that actual model has because that is what really affect performance not the triangle count.(and there are several other factors that define the gaming performance of a model but that is another subject)
Useful to know : The points number is the same for the Quad and Tri geometry models.They differ only in the number of polygons.
It means that you can increase the resolution of the model a lot for final renders.These models are always quad based geometry models and can only be used for CGI renders.
The advantage of these models is that you can work with them on lower resolution then for final render you increase the render quality by some clicks.
The disadvantage of these models are that they use a lot more polygons than it would be essential to the model and you cannot use these models for video games.More exactly you can only (maybe) use them after retopologizing the model which is a tedious and time consuming process.
Only buy subdividable models if you want to use it for CGI renders only.
Don’t let yourself confused by these terms.A model won’t be perfect just because only quads used in that.A model can be great too with triangles only even for animation rendering.There are many factors that determine why a model is good or bad.Basically, if a model looks good on the preview images you’re probably good to go.Also make sure you read the desrciption of the model.The description ususally includes what kind of projects that actual model suggested to be used for.If you are unsure ask the artist.
You can always directly contact the artist on CGTrader (NOT on Turbosquid) and also if you’re interested in boscorelli3D’s models you are welcomed to ask –
via this website or Sellfy or Cgtrader.Honest answers guaranteed.If you finally decide not to license that’s much better than license and become an unhappy customer.I want my licensors to use the models and be happy.
Finally in 3D Models Buying Guide Part 1 – here are some examples for some geometry types used in real models
Quad Model that is Game Ready but not triangulated yet (game engine will do that on import)
Quads and Tris Mixed Models
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End of 3D Models Buying Guide Part 1, the next part is 3D Models Buying Guide Part 2 about Textures, Materials and UV Mapping