3D Rendering: Where It All Began

CGI is something new and modern. Do you still think so? We assure you that everything is much more interesting! Nowadays, 3D technologies look impressive, but before that they have come a long way and continue to do so. I can’t wait to tell you where it all started.

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We have already told you many stories about visualization, its benefits and opportunities. It seems that this technology is now used everywhere. But don’t allow to mislead yourself – CGI is not an invention of the last decade! And the fact that now the rendering has reached very high standards of photorealism is the result of years of work and improvement. If you are surprised, we will try not to be boring to tell the story of how it was.

But first a little theory for a general understanding. Maybe someone is encountering 3D for the first time (unlikely, but still).

Computer rendering is a digital visualization technology that allows you to create a three-dimensional photorealistic image of any object or environment. This requires the use of specialized software such as Autodesk 3ds Max, Maya, Blender, etc.

The rendering process is somehow present in various areas of the professional activity, whether it is the film industry, video games or video blogging. Most often, rendering is the final stage in the work on the project, after which either a small post-processing is done, or the work is considered completed. In the field of architecture and interior design, realistic visualizations are used for project presentations, marketing campaigns and as content for social networks.

History of 3D Rendering

We don’t set ourselves the goal of telling you the long and tedious history of 3D graphics, so let’s take a look at the most significant moments in the evolution of CGI.

1960s

The term “computer graphics” dates back to 1960. It was invented by William Fetter, a graphic designer at Boeing company, and his team leader, Verne Hudson. And in 1963, Ivan Sutherland wrote a program called Sketchpad. This allowed the user to draw, edit and manipulate simple shapes. In addition, it was the first software which introduced object-oriented programming and geometric constraints. The program laid the foundation for the rapid development of computer 3D modeling, visual modeling and CAD.

1970s

The 1970s were a decade of some real breakthroughs in rendering. It all started when Ivan Sutherland joined David C. Evans at the University of Utah. There they began to teach a revolutionary class of computer graphics, which made a significant contribution to basic research in this field. There were many talented graduates on the course, including future co-founders of Pixar and Adobe Systems.

In addition, it was the time when the most famous 3D model of all time was created. The so-called Utah teapot was made by Martin Newell, who also studied computer graphics at the University of Utah in 1975. It was one of the first 3D objects to be modeled using Bézier curves (a modern CG tool we still use today) instead of accurate measurements.

Since then, the teapot has become so iconic that it has been featured in museums and various software. It has even appeared in several animated films and series, including “Toy Story”, “The Simpsons” and “The Monster Corporation”.

1980s

In the 1980s, computer graphics ceased to be exclusively a scientific and academic field. Home computers have become more common, “The Star Wars” franchise has gained millions of fans, children have started playing the first video games from Nintendo … All this, as well as new technological advances, have increased the commercial use of 3D graphics.

1990s – present

From the 90’s until today, we have seen a steady improvement in the quality of computer rendering. Modern equipment is powerful enough to process more data and in much less time than before. Software has also become much more sophisticated. All this has gradually led to greater photorealism, more natural-looking animation, the emergence of interactive visual formats such as VR and AR, and more.

And we use all available CGI capabilities to create incredible architectural renderings and animations. We hope that a short excursion into history was interesting and useful for you. It’s time to take full advantage of technology to grow your business!

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