Artificial intelligence is a term first coined in 1956 by cognitive scientist Marvin Minsky. In the 1970s, the US government began to fund research on this topic. The period called “AI winter” has already changed the world, spurring fervent discussions among scientists regarding the future of artificial intelligence.
In turn, the history of 3D graphics started in the late 1970s, when Kazumasa Mitazawa created a pack of visual effects called 3D Art Graphics for the Apple II. However, the origin of 3D modeling can be traced even earlier, when Ivan Sutherland introduced his Computer Aided Design system referred to as Sketchpad. All these breakthroughs made history.
From this article, you will learn how computer-generated imagery (CGI) and artificial intelligence (AI) serve as the two essential constituents of the future digitalized world.
Table of Contents
At What Point of Evolution Is 3D Graphics Today?
There is no denying that nothing happens on a screen without computer graphics. Although two dimensions are enough to make everything work, since the advent of Web 2.0, the internet and computer users demand a lot more. That is when 3D graphics steps in. What consumers see on their smartphone, tablet, laptop, PC, or TV screens is already a win.
Considering the quality and level of detail witnessed in present-day 3D models, modeling software and game engines supporting high-poly meshes are becoming incredibly complex. With the recent update of Unreal Engine to its fifth generation, developers have obtained new opportunities to work with the global illumination system and more.
Today multiple 3D modeling services can be of value to different agencies and studios, from game developers or online stores to directors working with CGI for fantasy movies. Photorealism is gradually becoming a huge trend in the industry, so 3D artists, as well as sculpting and polygonal modeling software, need to keep pace with time.
The State of Affairs in the AI Sector
There must be no haste when it comes to research in the domain of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The newest improvements in this sector touch upon healthcare, gaming, data processing, art production, and the rest. For instance, recently, Microsoft managed to train a model with 32trln parameters, indicating a severe breakthrough in AI.
Currently, modern users interact with different manifestations of artificial intelligence even when they do not suspect it. People already interact with AI when using social media apps, surfing the net, driving a Tesla, or finding the shortest route in Google Maps. Although enemy AI in games is not a good example of this technology’s application, gaming remains a potentially fruitful field of experiments that one day can result in groundbreaking innovations.
Interestingly, artificial intelligence is already used to improve vaccines and research in healthcare. The same goes for language processing, implying notable advancements in speech recognition, translation, text categorization, and so forth. Video or image processing is another valuable area where AI makes impactful contributions.
The Role of 3D Modeling in the Industry’s Future
Considering how many companies are heavily betting on the metaverse, it proves obvious that three-dimensional virtual worlds will not be possible without 3D artists. Even today, their contribution should not be underestimated as 3D assets appear in multiple media, including video games, cinematography, apps, the web, and beyond.
Moreover, companies like https://3d-ace.com/ already provide services that significantly broaden the application spectrum of 2D/3D assets. Artists working at such studios clean 3D scans, model/sculpt environments, props, or characters, as well as rig, skin, and animate them whenever needed. Similar services already ensure excellent value for the industry.
In the future, immersive technologies are predicted to serve as a door leading to multiple virtual worlds, whether you visit them for gaming, communication, or working purposes. The greater the quantity of these realms, the more 3D assets will be required, implying the need for a higher number of artists producing masterpieces in three dimensions.
You will be unable to visit metaverses without your own avatar, nor will you manage to view other actual humans inside them if they do not have a representation of themselves in a virtual environment. Beyond question, with the help of the same old artificial intelligence and machine learning, these avatars may be generated automatically, right?
The Part of AI in Shaping the Future
Whereas 3D art, for the most part, is going to take a more routine part in the future, like modeling assets or NPCs for metaverses, there is a more influential role prepared for artificial intelligence. Without a doubt, 3D modeling will remain a creative work in a lot of cases, but these will likely be limited to games, movies, or ads.
In turn, new improvements in the development of speech recognition are also going to subvert the paradigm of cognitive research. To note, statistics indicate that the AI market is forecast to hit $190bn by 2025. Another survey claims that 83% of businesses consider AI a strategic priority. In sum, all these numbers predict more prospects for AI research.
Other noteworthy benefits of applying artificial intelligence in different industries include:
- Advanced cybersecurity;
- Improved coding performance;
- Widespread automation;
- Better quality assurance;
- Increased server optimization.
In healthcare, futurists foresee the role of artificial intelligence as groundbreaking and revitalizing, inasmuch as AI-based robots or software will be able to significantly reduce the odds of human error, which is a widespread issue among medical practitioners.
The same relates to AI-equipped robots, which serve as one of the most evident harbingers of the expected human civilization model. Society is still afraid of artificial intelligence as it is believed that robots will conquer the world or be prone to cause harm to humans due to the lack of morality as well as other ethics-related qualities.
What Will Be the Joint Effect of 3D Art and AI?
If blended, 3D modeling and artificial intelligence might result in virtual assistants or NPCs emerging in the metaverse. Just imagine a virtual world replete with humanoid beings working as waiters, janitors, consultants, or even managers, occupations requiring creative decision-making as well as analytical thinking.
Using 3D computer graphics mixed with AI will likely entail the appearance of multiple virtual cities in the metaverse where a considerable portion of residents will be precisely robots. The industry is already on its way toward such a scenario. Look at The Matrix franchise or pay attention to any open-world video game — these are already inhabited by a kind of AI.
Why is this not the worst scenario? Because humanity already cannot pave a new, alternative way toward technological evolution. Present-day tech giants invest too much money in developing new ways of automation, improving optimization and merely simplifying their corporate workflows. Let alone a new generation of VR games, which are more quality.
Undoubtedly, this part of the digital entertainment segment is a massive game-changer in the industry. Merely look at the numbers — in 2020, the global gaming market size was worth almost $156bn. What is more curious, the gaming industry is predicted to reach $269bn by 2025, which is a notable evolution.
Fundamentally, the cocktail of 3D art and AI will bring about multiple benefits, such as:
- AI will help artists find defects in their models;
- AI will contribute to 3D printing;
- AI will optimize 3D models more effectively;
- AI will contribute to more quality implant printing;
- AI will automate 3D modeling.
More specifically, humanity can already witness the fruits of the tandem of 3D art and artificial intelligence. For example, in the work of neural networks. Especially when they automatically generate both 2D and 3D art, having previously “consumed” multiple paintings made by humans. This is how machines learn from what is called training data.
Should Humanity Impede the Natural Course of Tech Evolution?
This question seems rhetorical because no one will toss a monkey wrench into the current mechanism of technological development. Modern startups and new-fledged companies gladly seize every opportunity to automate as well as optimize their workflows, which often occurs not without a helping hand of artificial intelligence.
Regarding 3D art, its role is the same — to serve as bricks that will build the plurality of metaverses, their content, and creatures inhabiting these virtual realms. In the future, such occupations as a 3D technical artist or AI developer are going to be included on the list of top most demanded.
The only way to make this shift less painful to humanity lies in gradual advancement as well as slow integration of innovations into current systems in which people work, spend leisure time, and produce digital content. For instance, automation in manufacturing does not have to replace humans immediately. Besides, AI-equipped robots must not be the only solution.
So, How to Get the Best of Both Worlds?
Implementing innovations takes time, investment, and a lot of human resources. Hence, machine learning is already significantly improving how people examine artificially generated artworks, while cutting-edge technologies like Unreal Engine 5 demonstrate the true power of 3D modeling with its MetaHuman, a realistic 3D human creator.
Companies like Meta, Microsoft, or 3D-Ace promote three-dimensional art that will be used to build, say, metaverses, while Google, IBM, People.ai, and the rest work for the good of AI advancement. Each in its place, together, they will make a safe, flourishing, and automated future for humanity.