3D Graphics 101

Educator Resources


3D Graphics 101 (Geometry)




3D Anatomy 101 (recommended)


Learn how to build 3D objects


Shape 3D Modelling


Student Inspired 3D Modelling


3D Model Builder (Windows platform only)

Available for:

Windows PC, "netbook" or tablet


On-line or off-line (contact us)

Learning Outcomes

  • All 3D graphics systems draws objects using triangles
  • 3 points in 3D space are required to draw 1 triangle
  • 3D graphics systems can draw triangles in strips
  • Triangle strips are the most efficient drawing method
  • 3D triangles have a "front face" and a "back face"
  • All flat and curved 3D surfaces are "skinned" using triangles
  • Skill Outcomes

  • Ability to define and manipulate points in 3D space
  • Ability to construct complex shapes using points
  • Ability to "skin" complex shapes using triangles
  • Ability to create efficient 3D objects using triangle strips
  • Ability to "skin" complex surfaces using triangles
  • Ability to move objects along a 3D axis (X, Y and Z)
  • Ability to rotate objects around a central position
  • Ability to reshape and resize objects using scaling
  • Ability to create complex scenes using 3D child models
  • Introduction

    3D Graphics 101 puts the fundamental concepts introduced in 3D Anatomy 101 into practice.

    This entire course is practical hands-on 3D model building. For theory content please refer back to 3D Anatomy 101.

    Modern software tools do not allow students to build 3D objects from core components. That is, there is a layer of object intelligence that protects the user from the core building blocks that are required to draw 3D geometry on a modern 3D graphics system.

    A simple example is a Cube object. Software tools show you a Cube but in its simplest form a Cube is made from 8 points in 3D space and 12 triangles. There is no such thing as a square or 4 point surface in 3D graphics. This is because ALL 3D graphics is made using triangles as the core element. This is the first learning outcome and probably the single most important knowledge you can teach.

    Students that learn these fundamentals gain a clear and simple understanding of what drives their graphics, delivering a solid footing for careers in 3D, multimedia, animation and software development.


  • Learning and outcomes are activity based using our 3D Model Builder software

  • Download 3D Model Builder (Geometry Pack) from our web site:

  • 3D Model Builder
    (Geometry Pack)
  • 3D Model Builder software is free to use but SAVE and UNDO are disabled

  • Software licensing enables the SAVE and UNDO features

  • Many tasks may be completed without the need to SAVE

  • Some tasks require SAVE to be completed successfully

  • The download is a Windows EXE ready to install on classroom PCs

  • A single network installation on a server system is possible

  • A license server feature is available upon request

  • Proposed Lesson Plan

    Session 1 - Getting Started

    This session introduces core fundamentals of 3D computer graphics as it relates to 3D modelling... so it is one of the most important tutorials in this course.

    Focus on watching the Video Tutorials and completing all four of these exercises which build basic skills.

    Also focus carefully on the core skill of how to draw "Front facing triangles" and the related video.

    A Triangle

    Quad and Strip



    Session 2 - Basic Modelling

    Beyond the first exercises the remaining content does not include any Video Tutorials but has step by step screen shots and step by step intructions on how to achieve each goal.

    As we progress the instructions fade away and we will simply give you a screen shot of what we want... this assumes that the student has achieved a skill level such that instructions are no longer necessary.

    Also note that there is a large selection of tasks and it would take a very long time to complete all of these in only a few sessions... so we anticipate that students will be allowed to pick a task from a group and the class can collectively develop the content.

    Content customisation or personalisation is promoted as this will illustrate and promote creativity among the students.

    For this session the goal is to build our first basic model using the skills that have been introduced in the Getting Started tasks above.

    The recommendation is to pick one of these objects and try to create it and, if possible, personalise it in your own way.

    Barn 1

    Barn 2



    Session 3 - Drawing Curves

    These are important exercises because they educate the student that there is no such thing as a circle in 3D graphics.

    To create a circular shape we simply add more points and triangles. The more points in the curve, the smoother it appears.

    These tasks introduce new skills for copy and rotation of points.





    Session 4 - Child Models

    Computer aided design saves time. For example, create one floor of a multi storey tower and you can save it as a child model. This child may then be added as an object in a new model and copied 30 times resulting in a 30 storey tower.

    Before we attempt to build a tower we start with some basic objects first to demonstrate the advantage of using child models.



    Fire Escape

    Spiral Stairs

    Session 4 - Architecture

    These architectural examples allow us to use child models to create more compex objects.

    For this session the goal is to put our new child model building skills to the test...

    The recommendation is to pick one of these objects and try to create it and, if possible, personalise it in your own way.

    Town Hall

    Inside Church

    Unit Block

    High Rise

    Session 5 - Engineering

    Things get a lot more challenging now... the following tasks also require child model building skills and longer time may be required to complete one of these tasks successfully.


    Nut and Bolt

    Skate Park

    4 Wheel Drive

    Session 6 - Entertainment

    Here are some Entertainment industry inspired tasks... group collaboration would inspire team building and enable the completion of a complex task in a shorter time frame.

    One interesting task is to build the Street Scene or Castle as a group with one person each building a child model and one person using those models to build up and complete the task.


    Stealth Bomber

    Game Character

    Street Scene

    Session 7 - Organics

    Organic objects can be challenging to create because they are smooth and soft.

    The recommendation is to pick one of these objects and try to create it and, if possible, personalise it in your own way.

    Palm Tree





    Here are a few tasks which could form the basis for a modelling project. This could potentially be a homework or assessment item.

    The recommendation is to pick one of these objects and try to create it and, if possible, personalise it in your own way.

    F1 Racecar



    Sports Car

    Support and Resources

    Contact us for personal support and assistance. We can help you install and establish our content "off-line" if necessary and have other learning tools and downloads which will help you deliver clean and efficient learning experiences.

    Contact Us