3D Modeling for Video Games

Video games have come a long way when it comes to design. While there are still games that capitalize on the retro pixel aesthetic, today the majority of games released by major developers are in 3D. Video game design has developed very much since the release of the first 3D game. For some developers, making the game realistic is a priority–as such, 3D models for video games are often used when developing new games.

With three-dimensional graphics becoming the norm, it’s not surprising that 3D modeling for games has become quite a common practice for video game development. But how exactly have 3D models been used in video game design?

Read more to find out how 3D models help in video game modeling and to learn more about the future of 3D modelling:

Image credits to Canva

Video Game Modeling

When it comes to video games, immersion is one of the most important things that developers think about. After all, players are more compelled to finish games that they feel they are a part of. Part of making an immersive experience is making sure that the design of the game is compelling and realistic. That’s where 3D models for video games come into play.

Here are some ways 3D models are used in game design:

World Building

One of the first things developers think when conceptualizing a game is what the world looks like. After all, it’s important to create a compelling world that players would want to explore and interact with. Aside from the lore and actual mechanics of the game, an important aspect of world building is creating interesting and realistic locations.

With three-dimensional graphics, developers can create locations that have the perfect balance between being fictional and realistic. A great example of this is Horizon Zero Dawn. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the game takes place in an almost primitive world. Despite this setting, the game still has a realistic feel to it because of how well-detailed the setting is.

The 3D locations that the players go to jump on screen and much like we do in real life, they can also interact with the world they are currently in. In order to make the world stand out as much as it can on screen, developers often rely on 3D models for their games.

Using 3D models not only helps developers visualize the setting, but it also helps with the development of the in-game physics. With all the jumping around that most characters do, video game designers also need to think about how the world will respond to the characters’ actions and movements. Using 3D models is a great way to simulate how the fictional world would look like and it also puts in limitations to the design so that it can still be a realistic world for players as well.

Scaling and Measuring Objects

When it comes to designing, it can be quite difficult to accurately scale and measure objects when you don’t have a model. Considering that a lot of games are based in fictional worlds, this means that there could be some scaling and measuring problems.

Again, 3D models solve this particular problem by giving developers a basis as to how certain objects would appear and scale. A good thing about using 3D models for video games is that you are sure the technology involved accurately translates the images and measurements into the model.

Image credits to Canva

Character Design

Any good game would have amazing character design. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that it’s the characters who carry the plot of the game. Well-designed 3D characters add an even bigger sense of realism to games, since they look more life-like than 2D characters or pixel characters. For 3D characters, it’s greater since they have a lot of design potential too!


Part of the reason why a lot of 3D video games look realistic is because of the texturing that goes into the graphics. Think about how life-like the toys looked in Toy Story 3 and you would understand why texturing is an integral part of video game design. Although it may seem like a small thing, the little details added give more depth to a game.

Texturing occurs once the initial modeling is finished. Again, 3D models are useful sources of information as to how the textures should look on screen. There are a lot of textures that designers can add to make the locations and characters pop out more. To help streamline which textures should be prioritized, designers can once again refer to 3D models for their video game designs.

Once designers take note of the important details from the process of video game modeling, they add more layers to the initial model via 3D design tools. Despite being a somewhat tedious process, the end game of texturing is to give players a visually stunning aesthetic.


Sometimes, games have to replicate real life objects and locations. A good example of this would be the numerous ruins in the Tomb Raider franchise and even the historical sites featured in the Assassin’s Creed series. While these sites are tweaked a bit to fit the respective theme, mood, and aesthetic of the games they appear in, they’re still mostly based on reality.

Again, this is when 3D models for video games become an invaluable source of detail and inspiration. In order to accurately portray large sites, video game developers use drones to capture the details of the building. From there, the images captured by a drone are inputted into a software to create an accurate 3D model and digital rendering. It is because of these tools that players get to experience a realistic and accurate depiction of real-life locations and objects in game.

Leverage 3D Modeling for High Quality Video Games

Creating high quality games takes a lot of time and patience. Video game development may be quite complicated as well, but with the right tools and a keen eye for design you can definitely create a great video game. If you’re looking for a company who can help you out, NarraSoft offers mobile game development outsourcing to help you develop high quality games.

With just how far video games have developed, it’s no surprise that a lot of games have been utilizing the ever-growing popularity of three dimensional graphics. While it’s a challenge, it’s also a good way to keep the industry growing and innovative. Today, 3D models are very popular choices in game development, but tomorrow–only time will tell.