3D DESIGN: We reveal you the backstage of the job!

You are probably wondering what texturing, 3D modelling or even rigging is, fortunately Valentin is here to enlighten us on his job as a 3D designer!

Hello Valentin, can you introduce yourself in a few words?

Hi Flavie, I work at Ubilink, on the "customer project" activity. More specifically, I'm in charge of 3D design.

Can you tell us about your job as a 3D designer at Ubilink?

Yes, there are several stages of 3D design on a client project:

All these steps serve to recreate the virtual universe of a real place and bring the environment to life.

What do you think is the most important step?

I would say that all of these steps are important in bringing the different locations to life, none of them are insignificant.

I saw that there are many jobs in 3D, can you tell us what the difference is between a 3D animator/modeller for example?

These 2 jobs are linked, they just intervene at different moments of the production.

A modeler is someone who designs 3D models of objects, characters and sets.

While a 3D animator intervenes after the work of the 3D modeler, he gives life to all the elements made by his predecessor, by creating their movements and behaviours.

In short, the work of a modeler can be compared to that of a draughtsman because he produces fixed elements, whereas an animator makes them move, brings them to life.

However, at Ubilink I have the chance to do both these roles and more!

What software do you use to do all these tasks?

For modelling activities, I prefer "Maya" because it is a very complete software, it is also an international reference.

Then I work with Blender, because it has the same animation system as the iBIM engine.

Can you explain how you start a project?

At the beginning of the project, I go to the site to take photos, videos and measurements. This stage allows me to retain the important elements, every detail.

It also helps me to appropriate the place and feel the atmosphere in order to transcribe it as well as possible during the 3D realisation.

I have developed my sense of detail, I can identify if a model is simple or complex, what textures are used and what objects to animate, I notice the important and striking elements of the decor as the environment around the place.

I perceive the place with the eye of an expert!

What are the constraints in your projects at Ubilink?

In the projects at Ubilink, several constraints impose themselves on me.

First of all, I have to make light models, i.e. with a light mesh and therefore few "low poly" polygons..

Then, it is imperative to create zones of visibility in the scene so that the locations are displayed progressively, as they are moved. This brings a gain in fluidity, a much faster download time as well as a gain in memory footprint.

I also have to test the visuals between the different stages as the rendering is generally different between the Maya software and the iBIM renderer.

Finally, I have to export all my files in GLTF format, which is a web-optimised format.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of 3D?

The advantage of 3D is to make a place much more immersive than a photo or video. And thanks to the different animations of the scene, it becomes immediately more alive and warmer.

As far as the limitations are concerned, we will never reach the quality of a photo even if the reproduction is very detailed. Moreover, opening 3D files and navigating freely in the scene requires being in real time 3D, so you need powerful hardware to ensure good computing performance.

Tell us about a project that you particularly enjoyed.

The project that I particularly enjoyed was the creation of a 3D cemetery. Yes, you're not dreaming, I did say a cemetery! This is an unusual project.

I had never worked on such a particular project nor on this kind of scenery, it was also my first outdoor environment project.

Also, as I said before with the 3D design we are trying to bring different places to life. Usually it's hotels, houses, spas and so on. But this time I have to bring a cemetery to life, it's quite paradoxical!

When you visit the cemetery, you have to go through the place with a different perception, with great attention to all the details...

In this project, I started from nothing, I had no basis, I built the place entirely from photos. I had to recreate this place perfectly, with all the details as in reality.

The design of the tombs was a great job but quite long. Each tomb is unique and even atypical, some are broken, others damaged, the text is not very visible, many sculptures are represented on the tombs...

I loved this 3D design!

Thank you Valentin, thanks to you we are 3D specialists!

Flavie DUSÉ, 06/12/2021

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