Tag Archives: 3d animation

Engine 3D Model Tips

3D models of engines are very detailed and to model them requires knowledge of their major components, functions, and classification. Below find the fundamentals of identifying internal combustion engines and how this can help you quickly model or search for stock 3d models.
Engine 3D Model of D 800

D 800 Engine 3D Model

Engine 3D Models are graphical representations of internal combustion engines. They are comprised of several parts including cylinders, pistons, crankshafts, and camshafts.

Engine 3D Model Configuration

The first step in modeling or searching for stock 3d models of engines is to determine the engine configuration and its use. The layout of the major components which include the cylinders, pistons, crankshafts and camshafts, determine the configuration of the engine.

Engines are typically classified according to their piston motion (single, inline, radial, piston-less), placement of their valves or the placement of their camshafts. A common classification of engines includes the four stroke engine, two stroke engine, piston-less rotary engine (Wankel), gas turbines, and jet engines.

Major Components of the Engine

After you have determined your engine configuration, the next step is to locate the major components on engine diagrams, photographs, digital images or still renders of 3d models. The location of the major components is mostly determined by the shape of the combined engine block and crankcase. Therefore, the location of the major components of the engine and its shape can help you search for and identify the type of engine you are looking for.

For example, when looking for a four-stroke engine, first identify the major components such as the crankshaft, connecting rod, camshafts, and the valves. Then, you can look for other components such as the piston, crank pin, and cylinders with spark plugs (on gasoline engines only). However, if you are looking for a two-stroke engine, look for an exhaust outlet and fuel inlet instead of looking for the valves.

Chevrolet V8 Engine 3D Model

Chevrolet V8 Engine 3D Model

Other engine components that can help you identify engines are the cooling, lubricating, engine control (startup), and exhaust systems.

The exhaust system is made up of devices that improve the efficiency of the engine and also control chemical and noise pollution.

For example, the exhaust system can quickly help you find a jet engine. This is because jet engines generate thrust via their exhaust system. Their exhaust has the shape of a high velocity nozzle which can be easily identified and compared to other engines when you browse through still renders of an engine 3d model.

Cooling systems can also help you identify certain types of engines. The cooling systems are typically made of components that use air or liquid to reduce high temperatures. Combustion generates a great deal of heat, and some of this heat transfers to the walls of the engine. If the engine overheats, then failure will occur because the engine will physically fail or the lubricants will degrade to the point that they will no longer be able to effectively protect the engine.

For example, the cooling system of rocket engines is different than that of automobile engines because they use the fuel to cool. Other high altitude engines use controlled and gradual loss of material to cool engine components.

Engine control systems can also help you discern engines. The components that make up the engine control enable the start and shutdown of the engine and control of the power, speed, torque, pollution, combustion temperature, efficiency. Many control systems today are digital, such as the on-board diagnostics, which are used to perform electronic diagnosis of a vehicle and tuning of the engine.

Understanding the major components and engine classification can greatly help you cut down time when looking for an engine 3d model or when you are modeling engines.

See more examples of engine 3d models or find out more about custom 3d modeling and rendering by Flat Pyramid’s highly qualified artists at affordable rates.
3d hand model rigged and low polygon

3D Hand Models – Modeling Approaches

3D hand models are modeled using several techniques and the best approach that you can use for your project will greatly depend on the end use of the 3d model.
3d hand model rigged and low polygon

3D Hand Model

Modeling of the 3d hand models takes great attention to detail as the hands are one of the most complex body parts. The hands can dramatically change shape with each posture and can perform a wide range of complex movements in a short time.

3d models that are used for still renders tend to be less complex than the ones used in animations or for virtual worlds. The 3d hand models used for animations typically need a specific range of motion.

However, the ones used for virtual worlds are used to interact with the 3D world and a wide range of motion is needed. Also, a more personalized and realistic look is often desired. Therefore, different approaches should be used for modeling for still renders, animations, and virtual worlds.

3d hand model mesh clean rigged

Mesh of a 3D Hand Model

Using proportions can give you less complex models that can be used for still renders and presentations. However, this approach may not be desirable when looking for very realistic and personalized human hands. See examples of stock 3d hand models.

The first approach is to use the proportions of the human body to size the hand. The length of the hand (from the wrist to the middle finger) should be roughly the length of the inner forearm. The male hands should be longer and wider than female hands. The hand of an adult male is about 189mm long and about 84mm wide, while the female hand is 172mm long and about 74mm wide. Also, the fingers should not be perfectly straight, instead they should have a tendency to curve slightly towards the middle finger.

The second approach is to use approximation to establish the right proportions. When using approximation techniques, the proportions are estimated using the existing features of the hand anatomy. For example, the creases of the palm, hand contours, and the wrinkles on the back of the finger knuckles typically mark the areas where the skin is attached to the tendon beneath the skin.

Realistic hand 3d model human anatomy

Realistic Hand 3D Model Showing the Mesh

Other techniques involve generating a series of hand postures from real human hands, which yield hand movements and gestures that are very realistic. For this technique the hand 3d models are made up of both a dynamic and a surface model. The dynamic model is used to generate the hand postures. The surface model is based on 3D shape of a real human hand. This surface model is used to generate the hand shape based on the posture obtained from the dynamic model.

Motion capture and analysis is used to capture and process the hand movements. This can yield very realistic and accurate movements of the human hand. For example, for an animation of a hand making a fist, the 3d hand model fingers would need to curl in a spiral and not a circle. To achieve this, the movement of the joints of a real human (and their relative position in space) would be captured and recorded. Then this recorded movement would be assigned to the fingers so that they curl in a spiral making a fist.

Regardless of the approach you use, modeling of the human hand is complex and requires great attention to the shape, gestures, and movement of the hand.

See more examples of 3d hand models or find out more about custom 3d modeling and rendering by Flat Pyramid’s highly qualified artists at affordable rates.

Know when to outsource your 3D Modeling and Rendering

3D City Model of urban scene in blender 3ds lwo obj xsi

3D City Model of urban scene in blender 3ds lwo obj xsi

Imagine that your pitch was successful and now your clients want your animation in a futuristic city scene. You are an expert in animation…but not in 3d modeling and cities are known to take weeks to do!

The animation you used for the pitch took you 2 weeks and they now want a more complicated one in a week…HALF THE TIME AND MORE TO DO.

You could customize a stock 3d city scene to look futuristic or outsource it. This project has a tight deadline and you are not an expert in customizing 3d city models fast…and outsourcing could allow you to focus on the animation.

Sound familiar? Outsourcing 3d modeling and rendering or doing it in-house is a common dilemma 3D artists and animation studios face, especially when rushing to get 3d projects done.

When it is a good time to outsource your 3d?  A rule of thumb from one of our clients is that

“If someone can make it in half the time I can…then its time to hand it off. My time is just too valuable.”

Typically, clients outsource 3d modeling and rendering when the 3d model, such as a 3d city scene, can be done or customized much more efficiently by custom 3D services such as Flat Pyramid Custom 3D.

New York City Downtown Scene 3D Model in max obj

New York City Downtown Scene 3D Model in max obj

What could take weeks to do can take expert 3d modelers that specialize in 3d cities just days. So you get less frustration, quicker turn around, and higher quality results, which are worth spending money on.

Below are tips to help you know when outsourcing can work for you:

  • You run into something you don’t really well and it is not part of your core skills. Also it will take time to learn it and become efficient at it.
  • You have too many 3D projects stuck in the pipeline and budget constraints prevent you from taking on more 3d artists on staff.
  • The 3D projects go in cycles, sometimes you need more people, sometimes less, and you want to avoid downsizing.
  • The 3D project is a one-time project.
  • You need to reduce costs to be able to be more competitive when you are bidding for 3D projects.
  • It is more productive and profitable for you to let expert custom 3D services handle it.

Also, when you outsource 3d modeling you increase your profits, since you save more than half of the 3D project costs mainly because you save in labor costs. Outsourcing experts agree that having someone else do the areas that are not your expertise enables you to do more and you can leverage lower labor costs and increase your profit.

Realize you can’t do it all and you must find ways to speed up your 3d development cycle and get 3d projects to your clients quicker and cheaper than the competition – or face losing clients.

When you have decided that its best for you to outsource, consider using the expertise of Flat Pyramid artists with a wide range of experience in custom 3D modeling and Rendering, see more custom 3d tips.

Making 3D Face Models Look Beautiful And Attractive

Beautiful 3D face models are very often used by advertising agencies, special effects and other production studios in animations, advertisements and special effects.

3D Model of Female Face with hair,  highly realistic

3D Model of Female Face with hair, highly realistic


The 3d face models that are used are graphical representations of very beautiful faces with very attractive features. Whether the 3D face models is being used to to represent realistic humans or 3d characters, the 3d model must be beautiful.


Buy Face 3D Models or get them made to your specifications with our custom 3d service.

In many cases, the attractiveness of the 3d face models is a big requirement as beautiful people do “attract” our attention more than unattractive people.

So how do you adjust a 3d human face so that it’s beautiful?

There are certain characteristics that make people beautiful, like certain shape of the eyes, full lips, high cheekbones, etc.  First start by adjusting the 3d face model so that it follows the general human proportions.  Then, you further adjust the 3d face model using the list of characteristics below to give your 3d model a beautiful human face.

What makes the human face beautiful to someone is not universal, the culture and time in history also matters. However, as an overall guideline, beautiful faces are always very symmetrical and look healthy.

Below find what you can do to adjust your 3d human faces to make them more attractive.

How To Make Female 3d Face Models More Attractive

3D Model Face of Brazilian SuperModel Adrianna Lima

3D Model Face of Brazilian Supermodel Adrianna Lima

Here the assumption is that you are starting with an unattractive female face and want to make it more attractive.

  • Face: Make the overall face narrower and with less or no fat around the cheeks and chin areas.
  • Eyes: Increase the distance between the eyes (slightly).  Also give the eyelids thinner look and the eyelashes fuller, longer and dark.
  • Eyebrows: Make the eyebrows darker and narrower and give them an arc shape.
  • Cheek bones: Raise the cheek bones higher.
  • Lips: Make the lips full and symmetrical (top and bottom).
  • Nose: Give the nose a more narrow profile.
  • Skin: Use a suntanned skin tone that is even.

Also a very good reference to use are celebrities or buy stock 3d models of celebrities.  For female celebrities use all time gorgeous celebrities including like Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Lena Horne, Sophia Loren, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Diana Ross, Brigitte Bardot, Natalie Wood, Raquel Welch, Princess Diana, Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, etc.

No wonder makeup artists try to recreate these characteristics of attractive people and celebrities all the time.  Now let’s take a look at attractive faces for males.

How To Make  Male 3d Face Models More Attractive

3D Head of an attractive male hero

3D Head of an attractive male hero

Here the assumption is that you are starting with an unattractive male face and want to make it more attractive.

  • Face: Make the overall face narrower, but the upper half should be broader in relation to the lower half of the face.   Also the face should have less or no fat around the cheeks and chin areas.
  • Chin: Make the lower jaw and chin more prominent.
  • Eyes: Give the eyelids thinner look and the eyelashes fuller, longer and dark.
  • Eyebrows: Make the eyebrows darker and full.
  • Lips: Give the lips a bit more fuller look and make sure that they are symmetrical (top and bottom).
  • Cheek bones: Raise the cheek bones higher.
  • Skin: Use a suntanned skin tone that is more brown but even.

Notice that beautiful human male faces share some of the characteristics with beautiful human female faces.

See more examples of stock 3D Face Models that you can buy. These 3d models have been made by skilled 3d artists and have been adjusted to look beautiful and still follow the basic human proportions of  high quality 3d human models.

3D Human and Character Models

3D Female Woman Model, highly realistic,  render-ready and ready for animation

3D Female Woman Model, highly realistic, render-ready and ready for animation

3D modeling and animation of people and characters requires specialized skills and knowledge. Below find some tips that can help you create and/or get human 3d models that look realistic and have right human proportion.

3d character models require great attention to detail to achieve the right proportions, locomotion, and facial expressions that will allow the human model to convey human emotions, speech, and movement.

Buy Human Characters 3D Models or get them made to your specifications with our custom 3d service.

3D Modelers that specialize in 3d human models analyze human proportion to create an accurate representation of the figure and movement of the human body. They also take into consideration the color of human hair and skin. Human skin has a wide range of hues including very dark brown up to very pale pink. Human hair color is typically blond, brown, red, black, and gray.

3D Modeling of the Human Body

3d modeling the human body requires attention to detail to achieve the right proportion. The average height of an adult human is 1.5 to 1.8 m (5 to 6 feet) tall. To achieve a very realistic looking and accurate model of the human male or female, 3d modelers use heads instead of meters or inches as follows:

3d Woman Female Realistic Model

3d Woman Female Realistic Model

  • The human figure is an average of 7 to 7 1/2 heads high(including the head).
  • Width from shoulder to shoulder: 3 heads wide
  • Distance from top of head to the bottom of chest: 2 heads
  • Distance from wrist to the end of fingers of the hand: 1 head
  • Distance from elbow to the end of fingers: 2 heads
  • Distance from hip to the toes: 4 heads
  • Length from top to bottom of buttocks: 1 head

Human body types vary substantially and depending on the type of human 3d model, these proportions are adjusted by the 3d modelers and refined by animators.

For example, ideal 3d female models with long legs and arms are typically 8 heads tall. Male hero 3d models have big chests and long legs and are typically 8 1/2 heads tall.

3D Female Head Woman highly realistic 3d model

3D Female Head Woman highly realistic 3d model

3D Modelers and Animators also analyze human movement in order to prepare the 3d human model for further processing including rigging and animation.

3D Face Models

3D face models of humans are animated using the lips, brows, and frown lines to create human expressions that convey certain emotions. The audio is synchronized with the mouth, eyes and brows.

To convey the right emotions, animators analyze the human body’s structures and movements. They also study facial expressions and human emotions.

The human emotions are typically captured and reproduced using the expressive face of a 3d model.

3d modeling the human faces also requires great attention to detail to achieve the right proportion.

Below are some typical proportions that 3d modelers use to create 3d face models. When the 3d face model needs to be attractive, special characteristics common to beautiful people should be used, see how to make 3d face models beautiful and attractive.

Facial Animation of 3d Female model

Facial Animation of 3d Female model

  • The eyes are halfway between the top of the head and chin.
  • The bottom of the nose is halfway between the eyes and chin.
  • The mouth is halfway between the nose and chin.
  • The corners of the mouth line up with the centers of the eyes.
  • The top of ears line up above the eyes, on the eyebrows.
  • The bottom of ears line up with the bottom of the nose.
  • Eyes are typically centered halfway between the top of the head and the chin.

Before starting the process of 3D Modeling of the human body, keep in mind that it requires the expertise of highly qualified artists that specialize in this area. A good alternative is to buy high quality 3d human models in stock which also cut downs your 3d modeling costs.

3D Models in Architectural Renderings Visualizations and Animations

Urban Architectural Design using 3D Models, Aerial View

Urban Architectural Design using 3D Models, Aerial

Architectural renderings, visualizations and animations use 3d models to represent residential and commercial interiors and exteriors for marketing and design analysis purposes.

Architectural visualizations enable clients and target audiences to see the finished building and/or interiors before the approval and construction of a residential or commercial building.

Architectural renderings, visualizations and animations play major role in the design and the sale of real estate. Design changes and related decisions are facilitated by using architecture 3d models, which are used to create architectural renderings and visualizations that can be shown to the clients before the building or property.

3D Modeling of architectural renderings requires specific expertise not only in rendering but in architectural design as well.  The architectural 3D models used to create the renders must be modeled with the right proportion, scale, and level of detail. Also real life textures, materials, color and finishes must be used to achieve the photo realistic look of high quality 3D architecture renderings.

Photo Realistic 3D Rendering of Architectural Interiors
Photo Realistic 3D Rendering of Architectural Interiors

Architectural renderings are specific to their particular use and there are many types including: still renderings, 3d photo-realistic renderings, virtual tours, panoramic renderings, walk-through animations, fly-by animations, 3D floor plans, light and shadow study renderings, renovation renderings, etc. Each type of architectural rendering will first start as a group of 3d models arranged together to create the architectural scene.

Architectural renderings are still renders of  these scenes and the landscape and they include the building or structure and surrounding environment such as the trees, grass, people, cars, etc.

Architectural renderings can be created from sketches or from CAD files. 3D models can also be inserted into an actual photograph of the lot or environment to create an architectural rendering with a photo environment.

Virtual tours are very popular in residential as well as commercial real estate sales. Virtual tours allow navigation throughout the entire 3D architectural scene. When going through a virtual tour  that was created using 3d models, one can go from room to room and explore every aspect before beginning construction.

Buy 3D Models for Architectural Visualizations
or get them made to your specifications with our custom 3d service.

3D floor plans are done in three dimension to provide a very accurate layout of the interiors of a home or building, as one can see the rooms for each level and the rooms are typically furnished.

Architectural Rendering of House Floor Plan in 3D
Architectural Rendering of House Floor Plan in 3D

Panoramic renderings are high end architectural visualizations and they are done to provide a wider view of the architectural scene.  They can be done on the interior as well as the exterior of the building. They are also done so that the client gets a 360 degree view of the architecture of a building.

Architectural animations are short architectural movies. To create the animation a series of still 3D rendered images are put together to form the movie.

3D Models are used in each of the 3d scenes  in the movie. An architectural animations can have fly-over camera views and walk-through views of the building.

Architectural animations are often created with the landscaping and surrounding environment to give the them are more realistic feel.

There are many types of stock architecture 3d models that are used in architectural renderings including scenes, interiors, exteriors, buildings, plants, furniture, etc.

Tips for Managing and Empowering 3D Teams

Toyota Prius 2010 3d model vehicle car
Toyota Prius 2010 3d model vehicle car

Exceptional results are achieved when your 3D team can work together and have a clear understanding of your client needs. In order to work or collaborate across different disciplines, you need to actively manage and empower your team. Every individual on your team has a unique personality and skill set and what works for a 3D artist might not work for a 3D software engineer.

Teams that specialize in 3D computer graphic animations, architectural visualizations, and special effects have a wide set of skills that come from team members across several departments complemented with outside expertise and 3d model computer graphics.

These teams can include 3D modelers, rigging designers, motion capture, animators, texture & scenery designers, storyboard artists, software engineers, technical designers, etc.

3D studios that specialize in 3d animation, special effects and architectural visualization, need multi-disciplinary teams because no one individual has all the answers or all the skills that are needed.

JellyFish 3d model
JellyFish 3d model

Managing these types of creative teams with different personalities and skill sets can be very challenging. For example, 3D artists and animators often work with software engineers that specialize in developing applications for 3D modeling, rendering, animation, and special effects software. Their personalities and skill sets are very different.

3D animators have excellent storytelling and computer animation skills while software engineers can effectively develop, implement, test, and support the 3D software.

The key to managing your 3D team is to empower them to become a high-performing team that can work together to win. In order to do this start by empowering each individual in your team.


A sports coach helps each player become the best team player, so that they can develop and use their talents together as a team and win the game. An 3D manager can also empower the team to win and meet the objective. There are many ways that a 3D manager can empower their team including fostering trust, open communication, building pride, etc.

Every individual on your team is unique and what works for a 3D artist might not work for a 3D software engineer. You know that your have empowered your team when they are truly convinced that whatever they have set out (as a team) will work. This empowerment creates excitement and unleashes your team’s creativity.

3D Model of transformer robot bumble bee
3D Model of transformer robot bumble bee


Give your team the overall direction and stay back! Take the role of a coach rather than micro-manager. Guide your team to find the answers and make the best decision. Ask for proof or clarification of without telling your team what to do. This will allow your team will collaborate with each other across disciplines and each team member will bring their own expertise to the table.

Remember, criticism without a specific purpose or direction is not productive for your team.


Movie directors and producers actively manage the film production process which very often requires many changes along the way. They work with actors, cameramen, set, costume designers, special effect designers, and film editors to produce the final cut of the movie.

Your 3D team must also be ready to embrace and adapt to changes, such as getting outside tools and expertise, such as custom 3d modeling and rendering services that can customize 3d models and save time and money.

Change is an inevitable part of the process, especially when you are part of a multi-disciplinary team. Team members with very different skill sets, such as the 3D artists and 3D software engineers must learn how to work and collaborate together and be open to changing direction.

Managing creative teams, such as a teams that create 3D animations, architectural visualizations, and special effects, is similar to managing sports and entertainment teams, everyone must work together to win. 5gsyvbznp3