What is 3D modelling?
3D Modelling is the digital construction of third dimensional images, using geometric data like lines to create wireframes to shape out the model and then applying polygons to form it in to shapes and meshes, this is all to create anything from characters, environments, items, transportation and even change the appearance of an actor (or stunt double) in ways that make-up cannot. It’s a really useful tool in the media industry, helping keeping in to the budgets by adding in items and effects which in reality can be really expensive, for example Disney’s Wreck It Ralph (2012) and Marvel’s Avengers (2012) both use 3D modelling as a primary tool for environments and characters but in very different ways.
Examples and Comparison
To elaborate, The Avengers use 3D models to create the vehicles, destroyed Manhattan, helicarrier, holographic computers and both the Hulk and The Iron Man Suit (Looks and movement) which is impossible (or at least extremely expensive) to do in reality. This particular scene shows the transformation of the hulk as well as both iron man and an alien creature.
In comparison, Wreck it Ralph uses 3D Models to create the entire film from characters and environments to develop an animation focusing on a cartoon-style more than a real world representation of the inside of a video game world where they are 3D models (or 2D as its focused in an arcade) in the first place.
3D modeling has become an extremely useful tool for the media industry and even outside industries like architecture. It helps us create our visions in ways that reality can’t and helps makes dreams visual and the possibilities endless (depending on memory).
source: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-3d-modeling.htm, Wreck it Ralph (2012) by Walt Disney animation studios, Marvel Entertainment’s The Avengers.