3D Modeling: The process of creating a three-dimensional representation of an object or environment using specialized software.
Polygon: A basic unit of 3D geometry composed of straight edges connected to form a closed shape. Polygons are used to construct 3D models.
Texture Mapping: Applying a 2D image (texture) onto a 3D model's surface to enhance its visual appearance and realism.
Shading: The process of assigning colors, materials, and surface properties to a 3D model, determining how light interacts with its surfaces.
Lighting: Placing and configuring virtual light sources within a 3D scene to illuminate objects, creating realistic lighting conditions and shadows.
Rendering: The process of generating a 2D image or animation from a 3D scene, simulating lighting, shading, and other visual effects.
Animation: Creating the illusion of movement in a 3D scene by sequentially displaying a series of rendered frames.
Rigging: The process of creating a skeletal structure for a 3D model, enabling animators to manipulate and pose the model realistically.
Sculpting: Using digital sculpting tools to shape and manipulate virtual 3D models with organic and natural forms.
Digital Painting: Applying digital brushstrokes and textures to 3D models or 2D surfaces to add details and artistic elements.
UV Mapping: Unfolding the 3D model's surface onto a 2D plane, creating a UV map that serves as a guide for texture placement.
Rendering Engine: Software component responsible for simulating lighting, shading, and other visual effects during the rendering process.
Material: A digital representation of a surface's physical properties, defining how light interacts with the object, including color, reflectivity, and transparency.
Wireframe: A visual representation of a 3D model using only its underlying wireframe structure, showing the edges and vertices.
Ray Tracing: A rendering technique that simulates the path of light rays in a 3D scene, accurately calculating reflections, refractions, and shadows.
Ambient Occlusion: A shading technique that simulates the softening of shadows in areas where objects are close to each other or occlude light.
Normal Map: A texture that encodes surface normal information, allowing low-polygon models to appear more detailed and realistic.
Procedural Generation: Using algorithms and mathematical functions to generate textures, models, or entire environments automatically.
Photorealism: The goal of creating 3D images that closely resemble real-world objects or scenes, aiming for high levels of detail and accuracy.
GPU Rendering: Utilizing the processing power of a graphics processing unit (GPU) to accelerate the rendering process, providing real-time or near-real-time feedback.
Virtual Reality (VR): A technology that immerses users in a computer-generated 3D environment, typically experienced through specialized headsets.
Augmented Reality (AR): Overlaying virtual objects onto the real world, enhancing the user's perception of their environment through a camera-based display.
Particle System: A simulation of small individual objects (particles) within a 3D scene, used to create effects like fire, smoke, or water.
Keyframe: A frame in an animation where a significant change occurs, serving as a reference point from which intermediate frames are generated.
Matte Painting: A technique where 2D images or paintings are integrated into 3D scenes to create the illusion of expansive or detailed environments.
Render Farm: A cluster of high-performance computers used to distribute rendering tasks, significantly reducing the time required for complex renders.
Motion Capture (MoCap): The process of recording and translating real-world movements into digital animations, often using sensors or markers on actors.
Non-Photorealistic Rendering (NPR): A style of rendering that intentionally departs from photorealism, emphasizing artistic or stylized visuals.
Global Illumination: A rendering technique that simulates the indirect bounce of light within a scene, improving the accuracy of lighting and shadows.
Matte Shadow: A type of shadow cast by a transparent or semitransparent object, producing softer, diffused edges.