Tips for Using 3D Graphics in Web Design

Photo by Ion Şipilov on Unsplash
Photo by Ion Şipilov on Unsplash

A shiny piece of metal is for a fish; what a 3D image is for a website user. They are different; they catch everyone’s attention and pull them in to want to know more. One of the reasons they are so appealing is that they are uncommon. Not many websites have them. Despite the technology being there and a great way to engage users, not many businesses dare to use them. This makes those who put 3D images on their sites look forward-thinking and modern, giving their area a shock factor.

Regarding the technical side, 3D images live in a 2D space–not everyone will have special glasses. Additionally, they can be used for a wide variety of things like, for example, game-style interfaces or product identification. Something that provides the user with as authentic an experience as possible will always get their attention.

3D images are finally becoming more popular. They were expected to become the next hot topic once they launched, but people were too interested in flat design–this halted its trend. Thankfully now, the technology and the audience are ready to lean into the 3D world and seize the opportunity it is.

Adding 3D to a Website

When trying to add 3D animations to their website, many people spend long hours looking for 3D coding and modeling professionals, but there are less time-consuming ways. For example, looking for companies specializing in 3D graphics and animations on Google is one way to go about it. These companies might even have a library of sample resources to find what you are looking for. This way, you base your search on the final results you want, not on the hopes that the 3D coder or animator you find is as good as your picture.

Producing a 3D image is not an easy task. It is a complicated process that involves coders, animators, front-end and back-end developers, and web designers. That is why contacting a web design agency–that already has an entire team–might be a better idea than hiring each professional individually.

Always review the portfolio of the person or agency you want to work with to ensure you like their style, finished products, and how they do things.

Photo by Tom Claes on Unsplash
Photo by Tom Claes on Unsplash

Creating 3D Objects or Scenes

However, if you choose to create your 3D assets, you should be able to find a wide variety of online software tools that you can download and use to create your dream graphic. Many will be free, but if you are looking for better results, you may need to invest in great quality programs. You will need to properly consider the pros and cons of spending money on your chosen software, as not all will have what you are looking for. The good news is that for almost all software, there will be extensive tutorials to make your life easier once you get them–this is true for both the free ones and the ones you have to pay for.

Generating A 3D Web Embed Code

One way to get your 3D objects out of the program and into your website is by using a ‘web embedded code.’ This allows you to embed the 3D assets into your website. To do this, you can check the multiple websites dedicated to this so that you can achieve the best results without difficulties. This option gives you much control and freedom over the final elements of your 3D model, like size or when the 3D animation should begin.

By giving your website to a team of professionals–for example, a web design agency–you ensure that your website will be adequately embedded so that the animations don’t load too slowly and that everything works as planned to guarantee a great user experience.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Inserting A Web Embed Code

Getting your 3D model or environment into your website is very simple; once you obtain the web-embedded code, you have to edit the website’s code. To do this, you might need to delegate the task to the person in charge, or if you created it yourself, you’d be able to take care of it. All you’ll need to do is copy and paste the code of your 3D element in the correct position on your site.

Several Tricks for Using 3D Graphics in Web Design

As with everything in life, simple is better. And the same happens with 3D visuals. The cleaner the website looks, the less cluttered, and the better. You don’t want to overwhelm your users with too many elements or effects. The best way to make sure your 3D assets are there with a purpose and will engage your users–not stress them or make them annoyed–is by following the following tips:

  • Separate 3D assets from their surroundings
  • Use subtle drop shadows or embossing; always use a “natural” light source when using angles and placement.
  • Make it look natural and authentic.
  • Use gradients and highlights to create depth.
  • Don’t just use 3D effects on your home page; be consistent with their use and add them to all your pages.
  • If the 3D asset is an actionable button, provide cues, so the user knows what to do.

Please make sure the elements are scaling properly; remember, 3D is an illusion, and the closer it is in size, weight, and surroundings to real life, the better.

Photo by Tom Claes on Unsplash
Photo by Tom Claes on Unsplash

Finally, making it subtle is the key to adding 3D assets to your website. You don’t want users to feel it as an apparent “trick” or effect, nor do you want them to think of the old word art that word processors used to do. Great 3D animations and objects encourage users to engage with the interface by responding to these elements more intuitively. Make your website unique and make your users feel like they immediately understand your site by implementing 3D visuals correctly.

Good luck!

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I’m a designer that loves UX, fonts, and sunny beach days

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