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A wire-frame model, also wireframe model, is a visual representation of a
three-dimensional Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional space) is a geometric setting in which three values (called parameter A parameter (from the Ancient Greek language, Ancient Greek wikt:παρά#Ancient Greek, παρά, ''par ...
(3D) physical object used in
3D computer graphics 3D computer graphics, sometimes called CGI, 3DCG or three-dimensional computer graphics (in contrast to 2D computer graphics 2D computer graphics is the Computer-generated imagery, computer-based generation of digital images—mostly from t ...
. It is created by specifying each
edge Edge or EDGE may refer to: Technology Computing * Edge computing Edge computing is a distributed computing paradigm that brings computation and data storage closer to the sources of data. This is expected to improve response times and save bandw ...
of the physical object where two mathematically continuous smooth surfaces meet, or by connecting an object's constituent vertices using (straight)
line Line, lines, The Line, or LINE may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Lines'' (film), a 2016 Greek film * ''The Line'' (2017 film) * ''The Line'' (2009 film) * ''The Line'', a 2009 independent film by Nancy Schwartzman Lite ...

line
s or
curves A curve In mathematics, a curve (also called a curved line in older texts) is an object similar to a line (geometry), line, but that does not have to be Linearity, straight. Intuitively, a curve may be thought of as the trace left by a moving ...
. The object is projected into
screen space This is a glossary of terms relating to computer graphics. For more general computer hardware terms, see glossary of computer hardware terms. 0–9 A B ...
and rendered by drawing lines at the location of each edge. The term "wire frame" comes from designers using metal wire to represent the three-dimensional shape of solid objects. 3D wire frame computer models allow for the construction and manipulation of solids and solid surfaces. 3D
solid modeling Solid modeling (or modelling) is a consistent set of principles for mathematical and computer modeling of three-dimensional solids. Solid modeling is distinguished from related areas of geometric modeling and computer graphics by its emphasis o ...
efficiently draws higher quality representations of solids than conventional line drawing. Using a wire-frame model allows for the visualization of the underlying design structure of a 3D model. Traditional two-dimensional views and drawings/renderings can be created by the appropriate rotation of the object, and the selection of hidden line removal via cutting planes. Since wire-frame renderings are relatively simple and fast to calculate, they are often used in cases where a relatively high screen
frame rate Frame rate (expressed in or FPS) is the frequency Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time A unit of time is any particular time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence an ...
is needed (for instance, when working with a particularly complex
3D model
3D model
, or in real-time systems that model
exterior In topology s, which have only one surface and one edge, are a kind of object studied in topology. In mathematics, topology (from the Greek language, Greek words , and ) is concerned with the properties of a mathematical object, geometric obje ...
phenomena). When greater graphical detail is desired, surface
textures
textures
can be added automatically after the completion of the initial rendering of the wire frame. This allows a designer to quickly review solids, or rotate objects to different views without the long delays associated with more realistic rendering, or even the processing of faces and simple
flat shading Shading refers to the depiction of depth perception in 3D models (within the field of 3D computer graphics) or illustrations (in visual art) by varying the level of darkness. Shading tries to approximate local behavior of light on the object's ...

flat shading
. The wire frame format is also well-suited and widely used in programming tool paths for
direct numerical control Direct numerical control (DNC), also known as distributed numerical control (also DNC), is a common manufacturing Manufacturing is the Production (economics), production of goods through the use of Work (human activity), labor, machines, tools, an ...
(DNC)
machine tools A machine tool is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It may represent human-made or naturally occurring device molecular machine that uses Power (physics), power to apply Force, force ...
. Hand-drawn wire-frame-like illustrations date back as far as the
Italian Renaissance The Italian Renaissance ( it, Rinascimento ) was a period in Italian history The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical times, ancient Phoenicians, Magna Graecia, Greeks, Etruscan civi ...
. Wire-frame models were also used extensively in
video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or motion sensing device to generate visual f ...
s to represent 3D objects during the 1980s and early 1990s, when "properly" filled 3D objects would have been too complex to calculate and draw with the computers of the time. Wire-frame models are also used as the input for
computer-aided manufacturing Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) also known as Computer-aided Modeling or Computer-aided Machining is the use of software to control machine tools and related ones in the manufacturing of work pieces. This is not the only definition for CAM, b ...
(CAM). There are three main types of 3D
computer-aided design Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computers (or ) to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design. This software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve the quality of design, improve com ...
(CAD) models; ''wire frame'' is the most abstract and least realistic. The other types are ''
surface File:Water droplet lying on a damask.jpg, Water droplet lying on a damask. Surface tension is high enough to prevent floating below the textile. A surface, as the term is most generally used, is the outermost or uppermost layer of a physical obje ...

surface
'' and ''solid''. The wire-frame method of modelling consists of only lines and curves that connect the points or vertices and thereby define the edges of an object.


Simple example of wireframe model

An object is specified by two tables: (1) Vertex Table, and, (2) Edge Table. The vertex table consists of three-dimensional coordinate values for each vertex with reference to the origin. Edge table specifies the start and end vertices for each edge. A naive interpretation could create a wire-frame representation by simply drawing straight lines between the screen coordinates of the appropriate vertices using the edge list. Unlike representations designed for more detailed rendering, face information is not specified (it must be calculated if required for solid rendering). Appropriate calculations have to be performed to
transform Transform may refer to: Arts and entertainment *Transform (Powerman 5000 album), ''Transform'' (Powerman 5000 album), 2003 *Transform (Rebecca St. James album), ''Transform'' (Rebecca St. James album), 2000 *Transform (scratch), a type of scratc ...
the 3D coordinates of the vertices into 2D screen coordinates.


See also

*
Animation Animation is a method in which figures Figure may refer to: General *A shape, drawing, depiction, or geometric configuration *Figure (wood), wood appearance *Figure (music), distinguished from musical motif *Noise figure, in telecommunication ...

Animation
*
3D computer graphics 3D computer graphics, sometimes called CGI, 3DCG or three-dimensional computer graphics (in contrast to 2D computer graphics 2D computer graphics is the Computer-generated imagery, computer-based generation of digital images—mostly from t ...
*
Computer animation Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is the application of computer graphics Computer graphics deals with gen ...
*
Computer-generated imagery Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is the application of computer graphics Computer graphics deals with generating images with the aid of computers A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out seque ...
(CGI) *
Mockup In manufacturing Manufacturing is the creation or Production (economics), production of goods with the help of equipment, Work (human activity), labor, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation. It is the essenc ...
*
Polygon mesh In 3D computer graphics and solid modeling, a polygon mesh is a collection of , s and s that defines the shape of a polyhedron, polyhedral object. The faces usually consist of triangles (triangle mesh), quadrilaterals (quads), or other simple c ...
*
Vector graphics Vector graphics, as a form of computer graphics, is the set of mechanisms for creating visual images directly from Geometric primitive , geometric shapes defined on a Cartesian coordinate system, Cartesian plane, such as Point (geometry), po ...
*
Virtual cinematography Virtual cinematography is the set of cinematographic techniques performed in a computer graphics environment. It includes a wide variety of subjects like photograph 396x396px, '' View from the Window at Le Gras'' (1826 or 1827), by Nicéphor ...


References

# ''Principles of Engineering Graphics'' by Maxwell Macmillan International Editions # ''ASME Engineer's Data Book'' by Clifford Matthews # ''Engineering Drawing'' by N.D. Bhatt # ''Texturing and Modeling'' by Davis S. Ebert # ''3D Computer Graphics'' by Alan Watt {{DEFAULTSORT:Wire-Frame Model Computer graphics data structures 3D imaging Virtual reality