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Surface Modeling

Definition - What does Surface Modeling mean?

Surface modeling is a mathematical method usually provided in computer-aided design applications for displaying solid-appearing objects. Surface modeling makes it possible for users to look at the specific object at specific angles with solid surfaces. Surface modeling is a popular technique for architectural designs and renderings. Surface modeling has wide range of applications such as in consumer products, marine vehicles, body panels of automobiles and aircraft structures.

Techopedia explains Surface Modeling

Surface modeling is considered a more complex technique for displaying objects than wireframe modeling. Surface modeling has much less ambiguous display functionalities compared to wireframe modeling, but not as much or sophisticated as solid modeling. The technique often involves conversions between various three-dimensional modeling types.

Typical processes involved in surface modeling are:

  • Generation of a model combining the three-dimensional surfaces and solids
  • Conversion of the model to procedural surfaces, taking advantage of associative modeling
  • Validation of imperfections with surface analysis tools
  • Rebuilding surfaces of objects to apply smoothness to the object

When it comes to controlling curves, the surface modeling technique makes use of B-splines and Beizer mathematical techniques. One of the unique properties of surface models is that they cannot be sliced open like solid models. The objects used in surface modeling can be geometrically incorrect, unlike in solid modeling, where it needs to be correct. Apart from architectural illustrations, surface modeling is also used in 3-D animation, particularly in games.

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