3D mapping technology, also known as photogrammetry mapping, projection mapping, or spatial augmented reality, is used to project 3D objects onto a display through spatial mapping. It is similar to video mapping and is used to turn objects that are irregular in shapes, such as buildings, small indoor objects, or theatrical stages, into display surfaces for video projection.
3D mapping combines computer vision and machine vision technologies with cutting-edge processing techniques. By using specialized software, the object is spatially mapped in a virtual program that mimics real-world environments. This software is able to interact with projectors to effectively display any image on a surface. These solutions are used by advertisers and artists to add extra dimensions, optical illusions, and notions of movement and depth to previously static objects.
The applications of 3D mapping include object reconstruction, inspection & measurement, physical mapping & VR, 3D projection & virtualization, and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM).
Computer graphics professionals use 3D modeling techniques to produce digital three-dimensional representations of any object. 3D modeling is an essential part of many creative careers today—3D models are used in film, television, virtual reality, video games, movies, special effects, motion pictures, architecture, construction, illustration, product development, science, engineering, commercial advertising, and medical segments to visualize, simulate, and render graphic designs.
Below is a brief overview of a few top-rated 3D modeling software programs.
AutoCAD is professional commercial software that is considered to be a gold standard by many designers. It is available for Windows and macOS.
ZBrush from Pixologic Inc is a professional software that is not aimed at beginners. Sculptris is a similar, simpler software that is free for 3D modeling applications.
3DS Max from Autodesk is adapted for video game developers and visual effects artists. It can handle advanced animation and engineering requests. The software, which works with Windows, requires extensive training to master.
SketchUp is a 3D mapping program for architectural applications. It is used to visualize architecture, interior design, urban planning, engineering, and construction, and is available for Windows and macOS.
Blender is a free, open-source 3D modeling software that is suitable for animated films, visual effects, art, interactive apps, and video games. It is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS.