Jeff Bailey
Written by Jeff Bailey

Learning resources, opinions, and facts about technology.

Learn 3D Graphics

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The Basics

Learn 3D Graphics fundamentals then progress to more complex studies. The idea of 3D graphics has been around since 1961 and has significantly evolved over the years. I’ll walk you through the basics of 3D graphics development.

Primary Use Cases

  • Video games and movies
  • Planning real-world architecture
  • Interactive software experiences
  • Modeling reality
  • Learning

My primary use case is building interactive software experiences. The following content is tailored with that in mind, but will stay abstract enough to help you learn fundamental concepts.


3D graphic development starts with modeling your 3D objects. We must define the constraints. We must define the purpose of our 3D model.


Geometry is the components of a 3D object.


A Vertex is a single point in space typically represented by x,y, and z coordinates.


The Vertices are a collection of vertex values that define a 3D object’s points.


The Edge is a line between two vertices.


The Faces are a closed set of …

Surface Normal

UV Point & UV Space

UV Mapping is a process of of mapping a 2D image to a 3D model.



Meshes are a common way of modeling 3D objects. Meshes are typically made up of triangles so the shapes can fit into a plane.

A mesh is a collection of vertices, edges, and faces that define the shape of a 3D object.

  • A vertex is a single point
  • An edge is a straight line segment that connects two vertices
  • A face is a flat surface enclosed by edges

Geometric Modeling

We should input little data to render a large amount of data.


When moving to the rendering process, you’ll want to define constraints and requirements. Do you need an extremely detailed scene? Is a lower resolution required for quick rendering?

Lighting in your renders add depth to your objects. Without illumination, your objects will look flat and lifeless, and with illumination, your objects will look realistic.

Graphic Pipelines

Graphic pipelines start with vertices and end with pixels. It is a conceptual model that defines how to render a 3D scene to a 2D screen.

Graphic APIs

Hundreds of graphic APIs exist. Choosing the optimal API for your use cash can be challenging.

… define how to choose APIs. Ideally a database of graphic APIs with pros and cons like alternative to

Learn 3D Graphics – Beyond the Basics

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