Conventional video- and audio-based content is still the mainstream media for the broadcast industry. However, there is an increasing demand to use 3D models, mainly in special effects or visualisation of virtual objects, like buildings that no longer exist. On the other hand there are several established or emerging technologies that make explicit use of 3D models and are of interest for the broadcast industry. These applications include: 3D games, 3D internet applications and 3D-TV.

This paper discusses several techniques and systems that allow cost effective creation of this content. The approaches can be classified by the class of shape quality they deliver: 2D-Sprites, incomplete 3D (2.5D) and complete 3D models. This contribution describes an approach for classifying these shape types. An overview of requirements for the generation of object-based 3D models in a number of different applications is also given.

This document was originally published in 2002 Tyrrhenian International Workshop on Digital Communication (IWDC 2002), September 8th -11th 2002, Capri, Italy.