General 3D Knowledge sh2011c

3D Technical Terms


What is a mesh?

A mesh is a 3D object. It can be a human figure, an abstract shape or whatever.


What are Polygons?

Polygons (also called polys, faces or facets) are the single surface parts of a 3D object.

Wat are edges?

Edges are the lines where two polygons meet.

What are vertices?

Vertices (singular form: vertex) are the points where two edges intersect, or the corner points of polygons.

What is UV-mapping for?

UVmapping is necessary to prepare an object for texturing.
In the mapping process the object's surface is "peeled off" and "flattened", like peeling an orange and glueing the peels flat on a board. The mapping software records which point of the flat "skin" (2D image) corresponds to which point on the object (in 3D space). That makes sure that 2D textures are always applied in the same way to the 3D object.


What is rigging?

Rigging means adding "bones" and "joints" to a 3D figure. You define which body parts can be bent in which places in which direction. You also control the creasing and stretching of the "skin" in those places. Clothing for 3D figures needs to have the same rigging as the figure it is made for, it has the same skeleton structure. This is why a sleeve bends in the same place as the figure's arm: at the elbow.




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