Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tej Kohli Tips on How To Draw a 3D animals

Tej Kohli blog brings some more useful tips to help you create those basic 3D layouts. Read more and learn more with Tej Kohli Animation Career Help Blog.

By adding 3D characteristics and elements to your design you can make them appear more realistic and jump off the page. Incorporating these elements is easy and even children can use these techniques to enhance their simple line drawings to add depth to the animals and make them stand out of the backdrops. The first rule of thumb in 3D drawings is always draw in pencil, as it makes it easier to add shading and rectify the mistakes. However, once the basic drawing is ready, it can be later enhanced with colors.

  1. Shading in the portion of animals creates depth. Rendering with a light color makes an object look closer while a darker color makes it look distant. For example, because the nose of the dog protrudes out, if drawing illustrates a dog's face head on, his nose area would be lighter than its cheeks and forehead.

  2. Adding shadows will make animal pop put from its background. After deciding what direction the light would fall from, make all the shadows uniform. Given that the sun were directly in front f the animal, the shadow would fall behind it. Alternatively, if the light is coming from the left, the shadow would be slanted towards the right.

  3. Instead of rendering the flat lines, add views from the side and back angles. For example, you may add a slanted line alongside the outline of the animal's leg to create a rounded limb. By showing a slight view of the side of the leg other than the front makes the limb emerge from the plain and give drawing a 3D quality.

  4. Use proportion to help the animal stand out. If the head of the horse is facing towards the front and body is extended behind it, the front legs should be slightly larger than the hind legs since they are father from the view.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tej Kohli's Free 3D Animation Tools

In the wake of the several award-winning 3D animation movies, a lot of students and computer design graduates find themselves interesting in taking up a career in 3D animation movies. Tej Kohli animation career blog has always strived to help those seeking a creer in animation field. Even though this field demands sheer dedication and hard work, this career can pay off good in the long run. Nowadays, you can choose from a plethora of 3D animation programs that can be used to create any desired effect. Tej Kohli Animation Career Blog brings you an overview of some such 3D animation tools.

1. Blender – an open-source selection of 3D animation tools and is available totally free of cost online. Tej Kohli feels that this is an excellent program for beginners to use so as to determine whether 3D animation is the right career path for you. This program in many versions compatible with all popular OS.

2. Poser – a program developed by SmithMicro software, poser provides the most powerful 3D animation tools that are used by professional animators. The newest version of Poser gives students an opportunity to create 3D faces from digital images which can later be improved with additional features like hair, clothing and other accessories. Again this program is compatible with all leading operating systems.

3. Mudbox – Created by Autodesk and first implemented in the blockbuster remake of 'king kong', MudBox is an awesome animation software says Tej Kohli. Mudbox makes use of virtual brushes to better adapt to the needs to modern digital designers and animators. 3D characters created using Mudbox can easily be manipulated, posed or deformed to create real 3D effects. The built-in scene recorder in Mudbox can record short sequences and is available in windows and Mac compatible versions.

4. After Effects : Straight from the Adobe labs comes the Adobe After Effects, which is compatible with Adobe family's other image and video-editing applications. This software allows users to seamlessly import their work from other programs for 3D rendering. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Learn How to Create 3D Animations with Tej Kohli

Tej Kohli explains the art of creating 3D animation on your computer.

The three dimensional animations or 3D animations as they are popularly called are an aspect of art form that requires state-of-the-art computers and software applications. 3D animation is comparatively easier than 2D and can be done by anybody for both commercial or personal purposes. All you need to have is some basic knowledge of the computer, a few creative ideas and you can create 3D animation with ease. Given below is Tej Kohli's step by step guide to creating 3D animation:
  1. To begin with, using a pencil draw on a paper what you want to create as your 3D character.

  2. Now, select a 3D animation software to create your animations. There are plenty of free 3D software available on the internet such as Anim8or or Blendor.

  3. Download, install and launch the 3D animation software. Also make sure that you learn all the functions by reading instruction manuals that come along with the software.

  4. Follow the instructions in the manual to create your drawing and save it side by side.

Remember, that practice makes the man perfect, and this stands true in this respect as well.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Tej Kohli Explains the Cartooning Process

Welcome back to the Tej Kohli Animation Blog. Today, Tej Kohli will explain you about the process of cartooning and various steps involved in it.


The pre-production stage of cartooning starts with a storyboard, where the complete story is rendered in comics style to give an illustration of how the story proceeds besides serving as a guide for the animators. These graphics or drawings can be laid out on either poster board, large sheets of paper or a foam board. In the West, especially the North America, this voice acting is also recorded in the animation so the animators can use it to guide their work. Whereas, in Eastern animation, the voice acting is recorded to match the animated images instead of the other way around.

Animation Drawing

In this process, the animated drawings are sketched onto 'cels', which are individual character pictures for every single moment, including the slightest movement made by the characters. The animator first draw cel pictures on a paper as an outline and, originally were scanned and printed on plastic celluloid sheets and painted in hand. Nowadays, these outlines are usually uploaded and colored through a computer. The background images is also drawn. One may use these drawings repetitively as they remain static throughout the scene.

Shooting the animation

All the cels required for one animation frame are laid out on the scene backdrop to generate the entire setting of the frame. Then, the camera shoots the frame. A second of animation uses about 26 frames on an average, thereby, requiring the use of thousands of cel sheets places singularly on the background and shot one at a time. The frames, when rightly placed and shot in action, can create action when the recording is replayed. Once the recording is done, the music, voices and other sound effects are introduced to the animation, and the whole show can then be edited to get the final outcome.
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Tej Kohli Explains 2D Animation Techniques

Tej Kohli Animation Career Blog explains the basic 2D animation techniques...

Animation, be it 2D or 3D, is a string of frames that imparts movement. Traditional animation comprised of a sequence of illustrations shat at 24 frames per second. The art of animation is varied and that's why the list of 2D animation methods has gone far behind paper and pencil. Give below is the overview of 2d animation techniques and principles.

The art of movement – one of the basic aesthetics of animation is deciding the motion of the drawings. Will it snap, or will it have an attitude, this is up to an animator to select any realistic or unique style he likes to bring about the desired effect.

Timing – once you have decided the movement of the animation, the next step is to decide how much time to allot to that action. This process is known as timing. In order to accomplish this, an animator can enact the action in his head and determine the duration using his instinct. If you want to have a more precise measurement, try this technique using a stopwatch. You may also act out the motion yourself to get a better understanding of what you are drawing.

Spacing – spacing means determining how the drawings will be placed between each other. When done in a right manner, the spacing of illustrations can create weight and believability. This do this, always remember that when you add more drawings, the longer they will be seen on the screen. While a fewer drawings takes less time, they imply a shorter action. If the motion takes place at equal intervals, then the illustrations must be spaced equally from each other. As the motions speeds up or slows down, drawings can be spaced accordingly - slow in and slow out.

Slow In - Think acceleration the same way as the action of reaching out your hand. The actions begins at a slow pace but gets faster as your hand accelerates upward. This is executed by padding drawings together at the beginning of the action, showing longer onscreen, to using fewer frames, father apart as the action completes, thus the ending is appearing for less time onscreen.

Slow Out - This is a term for deceleration. The action starts fast and ends slowly, creating a slow out. At the start, drawings are placed father apart from each other, with many drawings padding the end of the action. This creates a slowing effect.

Key Frames - These are usually the first frames drawn, and represent the major points of action. Key framing the animation is a general way of laying down a foundation of the most important poses. The biggest benefits to using key frames is the ability to see if the animation works with a relatively low drawing investment. As a note, not all animators use key frames, as it can make animation look stiff or unnatural. It also depends largely on preference.

1s, 2s, 3s, 4s - Animation is recorded at 24 frames per second. The term 1s, 2s and so on refers to how many frames are shot per drawing. If each drawing were shot only once, a 1 to 1 ration of one drawing to one frame shot, this would mean the animation was shot on 1s. If each drawing was shot twice, one drawing for every two frames, would be called 2s, and etc. Contrary to popular opinion most animation is not shot on 1s, but rather 2s unless the action needs to be particularly smooth as in dancing or an underwater scene.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Understanding breakdown Drawings in 2D Animation with Tej Kohli

Tej Kohli describe the process of 2D animation and the importance of breakdown drawings in creating an animated scene. Keep reading Tej Kohli animation career help blog foe more on 2D animation.

Developing a 2D animation needs a series of multiple drawings to complete the description of actions to narrate a story. The breakdown drawing referred to the middle drawings that severe as the chief changeover actions between two keys.

Story – This is the most important component of the animator's mind – it starts simply with telling a story. Video recording devices are often used as reference point and can be a paramount tool for understanding the distinction between key and breakdown drawings.

Timing – The plan for animation depends a lot on timing. A lot of animators use stopwatch and timing graphs are detail the key frame and breakdown poses.

Key Frames – these are the primary describing actions that explains the story of the scene. If you are making a a story animation, it must begin with key frames to organize the further work.

Breakdown – it's not necessary to place the breakdown at the exact middle point between the two key frames. Since, a breakdown is next most changeover point between two key drawings, it necessitates a lot of fine tuning and shifting.

In-between – also known as straight run, these drawings fills in the remaining information enabling a smooth run for your scene. The direction already established by the key and breakdown drawings is crucial to create the smoothest flow and timing for 2D animation.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

History of Animation by Tej Kohli

Tej Kohli

History of animation
Animation has come a long way from papers to the computer screens and now the big screen. But do you even now how animation started? Tej Kohli blog takes on a delighful journey of the animation...
Animated films have entertained people from all around the world for over years now. A shark leaping out of the water to attack, a humanoid swinging through the trees centuries in to the future, or a bird flying so close you can almost hear the flapping of its wings – these are a few examples of animation work seen by zillions across the globe in animation movies. What started as groups of hand-drawn pictures of cartoons about a century ago has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry that entertains and challenges us the way no artform has ever done.
Early History Of Animation
The inception of the animation dates back to 1824 when Peter Roget wrote a scientific paper on how the brain sees individual images as a continuous series of motion. This was followed by the invention of the first camera, the kinetoscope by Thomas Edison that could project 13 seconds of a film. Within a decade, photographer and owner of the Vitagraph Studios, J. Stuart Blackton made the first ever animation film with the help of a blackboard. Known as 'Humorous phases of funny faces', he drew a comic face them filmed it, stopped the camera while he erased a face and made a new face and then filmed it again. This outcome of changing faces or stop-motion became the first animated film technique.
The Silent Era
In 1910, the French caricaturist and animator Emile Cohl used paper cutouts to demonstrate an early example of animated films. His technique revolved around repositioning the figure instead of drawing it again, which was time saving. By the year 1914, Winsor McCay, also known as the father of American animation, created a cartoon named Gertie the Dinosaur, which needed thousands of individual drawings. In the same year, Earl Hurd, when working at John Bay studios, developed the technique of drawing on transparent cels and then photographed each one. This cel animation technique became the foundation of animated film making for years.

Disney's animated Cels
In 1923m Walt Disney, a commercial artist, shifted from Kansas City toLA to work as a director. Disney wanted realism in his characters and trained his animators to study anatomy to add more life to the characters. He advanced the Hurd's Cel animation technique. Images were hand drawn on transparent cels in layers, one on top of another. Background cel was kept at the bottom of the pile as each layer was filmed then removed. The process was time consuming and took weeks to generate a single sequence. It was in 1928, when Disney made its first talking animated film, “steamboat Willie”, an instant success that introduced Mickey Mouse. By 1937, Disney produced the first full length colored animated film “Snow white and the seven dwarfs”, earning an academy award, the first of 37 Oscars for Disney.
Early Computer Animation
By the year 1980, what had taken weeks to do manually was replaced by the first computer animated production system – CAPS, and by the year 1985, Disney studio adopted this computer generated process entirely. With a wider color palette and blended and shaded tones, this computer software added a more realistic appeal to the animation. Developed by Disney and Pixar artists and engineers, this program allowed camera movements such as pan, tilt and zooms as a part of entire filming process. Disney took over Pixar in 2006, replacing CAPS with newer 2D and 3D animation techniques.

CGI animation and 3D
The introduction of CGI, computer generated imagery, changed film making for good. With movies like the 'Terminator 2' and 'Jurrassic Park' in the 1990, animation marked a new epoch in the film making industry. In 1995, Walt Disney Productions and Pixar animation studios jointly produced “Toy Story', the first film to be completely animated using CGI technology. Motion capture is a technique where any movement is recorded and transferred digitally. This technique is used by the US military to create battlefield scenarios in its training. This method was first used in 2004 movie “The Polar Express” . In 2009, film “Avatar” reinvented 3D technology as the first ever movie to use performance capture imagery to produce life-like 3D characters and an entire world.
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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Learning 2D Animation the Easy Way!

Tej Kohli explains how to learn 2D animation.
Things You'll Need:
* Tracing paper
* Digital camera or scanner
* Pencil
* Eraser
* Computer

2D animation is a time-consuming and painstaking process. A classic form of animation, 2D animation is also capable of producing some truly mind blowing outcomes. Learning and developing your won 2D animation is a simple concept to begin, yet it can take years to excel in this art completely. Each frame must be drawn in hand,and while this may look like too much work, it will add a truly unique flavor to your animation work. Upon learning the basics of the 2D animation, you can start drafting more complex animations.

2D animation reflects the movement of the object or the character. So, to begin with, draw a character in a starting pose, which will serve as as base for your next frames. A simple example of 2D animation would be to create a character who is waving. Draw the head, body, arms and legs of the character. Position the waving arm above the head with the palm open. Be sure to keep a slight bend in the elbow to make the pose look natural.

Now put a tracing paper above the drawing and copy the picture except the waving arm and the eyebrows. Then redraw the waving arm so that it is extending out diagonally. Make sure the elbow remains completely straight. Redraw the eyebrows tilting inwards slightly towards each other. This will add some slight movement in the drawing, so it doesn't appear that the arm's the only section being animated.

Next, trace over the picture again except the waving arm and the eyebrows. This time, redraw the waving arm so that it's now pointing straight up. Make sure to take a slight bend in the elbow, but not as much as you gave in Step 1. Draw the eyebrows tilting almost diagonally down. This will reflect a slight effort in the character's face from waving.

Redo steps 1 to 3 until you think that the character has waved for long enough. Take individual digital photos of all your drawings, and import the pictures in your computer. Through a computer program like iMovie or Movie Magic, you may string a series of pictures together in sequence to create an animation effect.
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Monday, August 9, 2010

Tej Kohli explains 2D Animation Software for Beginners

In the previous post, Tej Kohli discussed about the various 2D animation tools available for professionals online. Today, Tej Kohli will talk about most useful 2D animation software for 'Beginners'.

A 2D animation programs is the one that allows you to create moving 2D images on a desktop or other output media. These softwares are nothing but a specialized painting or drawing programs that allows the movement of pictures along the two dimensions of the screen, besides an additional dimension of time.

Frames and Keyframes

Any picture made with 2D animation software is called a frame, which are similar to the frames of a traditional animated movies. Artists paint a series of virtual frames to create a movie. Each frame displays graphical objects that represents characters or scenery. There is a very slight movement in the characters as they move from one frame to the next. This movement creates the illusion of motion when the frames are shown quickly in sequence.

Every animation program has playback tools which are used to view this sequence of frames. Most animation software will also let you export the movie to a popular format like AVI or Quicktime.

2D animation software saves you time by computing frames. In these programs, only those frames where a new action begin or ends are drawn rather than every frame. Such frames are called keyframes. The calculations a software use to compute the frames in between the keyframes is called interpolation.

Based on the type of motion to be interpolated, key frames can be divided into various categories. While the translation keyframes are for movement of a graphical object, scaling keyframes allows you to resize objects. Rotation keyframe allows for the circular movement of an object around a specific point.

Curve Editors

the curve editors display curves that reflects the motion of a graphical object. The animation can be changed by reshaping the curves rather than objects. One of the main advantage of curve editors is that you are able to see every motion frame at once, instead of single frame at a time.

Horizontal Graphs

It displays the increasing numbers along its left side to show various horizontal positions of the object. The center of the graph displays the curve itself and for right-to-left moving ball, this curve will represent a line starting from the upper left of the screen, and moving to the lower right of the screen.

Vertical Graphs

The vertical graph is similar to the horizontal graph, except the graph's left side will display vertical values for the ball's position. This means a line will run across the lower left of the screen and move to the upper right.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Tej Kohli's Best 2D Animation Tools

Tej Kohli Animation blog - your reservoir of animation and everything related to it!

While there is no denial that 3D animation has taken the animation industry by storm, there are still a plenty of traditionalists who believe that 2D animation is better that its contemporary counterpart. No matter if you believe that strongly, or you're just a novice who is trying to carve his niche is the animation industry, 2D animation is your first step towards becoming a professional animator. There are a variety of 2D animation tools available out there, even online. You can also access them for free and hone your 2D animation skills.

Pencil – This is perhaps the first thing an artist shall befriend with. Not only in real life but also virtually. Pencil is a free animation program that allow users to create 2D images using both bitmap and vector graphics. Although this programs doesn't not feature all the features that a professional 2D animation program has, but as a free program, it lets users create hand-drawn-like animations.

DigiCel FlipBook – This is an extremely useful program that helps at every stage of animation process – from the lip-syncing and creating storyboards to the raw and refined animation, all the way to the final product. Equally great for amateurs and professionals, this program helps you create feature-length animations. Use hand-drawn pictures or create them on the computer itself. You can also add a variety of effects, like zooms and dissolves to give your work a professional look.

Plastic Animation Paper – This program is available in three versions, and each of them differ in price and tools they feature. The free version is very basic but looks great if you're fond of 2D animation, and is ideal for an amateur. The home edition, which comes at $99, has some extra tools that adds a professional appeal to your animation. Using the home edition, you can make animations for YouTube or your own website. And lastly, the professional version, which is tagged at $695. This is capable of making feature-length animation and is perfect for a studio team.

Stickman and Elemento – This is a basic program with few buttons and features and allow students to expand their knowledge about the animation process. Draw in the program or import images like JPEG or Photoshop. While it's not a fully-featured software, but is ideal for younger students to help them harness their creativity.

Monkey Jam – A freeware animation, Monkey Jam is a wonderful intermediate program that allows you to create your own personal animations. Animate or separate layers to facilitate animation process, and use keyboard shortcuts to alter image duration, which works great while testing the speed of animation.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Tej Kohli - Difference in 2D and 3D animation

In the previous post, Tej Kohli outlined the basic difference between 2D and 3D animation, particularly in terms of definition, limitations and how they compliment each other. Today, we will dig this topic a little deeper.

Differences in 2D and 3D animation

2D and 3D animation differs from each other in a variety of aspects. 2D animation is an art form that gained immense popularity after zoetrope and flipbooks were introduced, and was later processed by the likes of Walt Disney. However, the advancement in computer technology added another dimension to 2D animation and led to the rise of 3D animation. Today 3D animation is commonly used for creating special effects in movies. Although both are the two different branches of animation, both may differ significantly in terms of their capabilities and creation process.

Creation Process

All 3D animation is computer generated and is created using software like 3D Studio Max or Light Wave 3D. Though 2D animation can also be generated of a computer using programs like Adobe Flash, it can also be rendered in hand on a paper-pad using pencil or pen. In 2D animation, artists draw individual images on each page, which when flipped creates an effect of movement.


In 2D animation, objects can only move horizontally axis along X axis for creating forward or backward motion, and a vertically along Y axis for stimulating an up and down movement. 3D animation allow objects to move closer of farther away from the viewer, moving along the third Z axis. To make an object appear closer in 3D animation, the object must be drawn large so as to create such an effect.


All objects in 2D animation look flat, just like in a photograph or painting. For example, if we look at the facade of a building in a 2D animation, that's the only part of the building that is visible on paper. 3D animation, however, shows objects in sculpture form. You can view the front, back, top, bottom of the building.


3D animation software have a virtual camera, which is a part of the animation process. This virtual camera is similar to a real camera with features like focal length. What's more, this camera moves in the same fashion as an actual movie camera, and include features like zoom, pan and dolly. 2D animation does not require such an advanced technology.


3D animation programs also have virtual light that can imitate light bulbs, spotlights, or even sunlight. Besides, they are also use multiple light sources or colored lights to add several special effects. If you make an object pass in front of these lights, they can also cast real shadows on other objects in your composition. In 2D animation, you have to draw shadows by hand.


Through the use of realistic textures and 3D objects, 3D Animation help animators create scenes that are virtually identical to real life. But in 2D animation, even the highest quality animation has a cartoon-like, hand drawn look.

Rotoscoping and Motion Capture

To ease some pressure off the animation process, 3D animation may use a process called motion capture. Motion capture is a process that involve an actor wearing s special suit with lots of points on it. Now, as the actor moves, the camera uses these points as reference for animating a 3D character. A few points may also be used on actor's face to record facial expressions and lip-movement for dialogues. In 2D animation, there is no such thing as motion capture, however, it uses a similar process known as rotoscoping, which involves tracing over live footage of actors frame by frame to help generate the animation.

Special Effects

In 2D animation special effects like smoke, fir, moving water and explosions must be arduously drawn for each frame. In 3D animation you can use plugins or exclusive filters to create such effects, which automatically generates the effects after you indicate certain parameters.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

2D Animation Versus 3D Animation - Tej Kohli

In present times when many well known Hollywood directors are choosing animation over live action, the future of this evolving art form looks promising and is here to stay. While the world of 3D animation is continually evolving, there are areas where 2D animation is still being done. The aim of the article is not to establish which one is better than the other, but to demonstrate what each type of animation adds to a project.

2D animation
To create a 2D animation, the artist make use of bitmap images that consists of colored blocks. These colored blocks, when placed side by side, creates an image or graphic.

3D animation
3D animation use computer generated lines, solids and surfaces to construct a 3-dimensional look. The finished product is a picture with visibly noticeable depth and spacial understanding, which is less prominent in a 2D image.

Limitations of 2D
In 2D animation, only one angle or side of a picture is visible at a time, rendering the image a flat appearance.

Limitations of 3D
The expertise needed to create 3D animation is much more difficult to learn as compared to those needed in 2D animation. Furthermore, the cost of producing a 3D image is more than 2D.

The Conclusion
Today, animators are using both 3D and 2D techniques to create several animation projects. Both 3D and 2D animations have been artistically merged together to become the benchmark that many animated projects will follow.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tej Kohli Animation Glossary V to Z

Tej Kohli animation career blog brings you the final series of Animation Glossary containing words from V to Z.

See: Point.

Viewport : The region of the interface of a 3D software package in which the scene is displayed to the artist.

Volumetrics : Volumetric lights are lights whose illumination can be observed throughout a volume of space, rather than simply where the light strikes a surface. In similar fashion, volumetric textures are textures applied throughout a volume of space, rather than to a surface.

Walk Cycle : A short sequence of animation containing the keyframes necessary to make a bipedal character take two consecutive steps. The sequence may then be repeated over and over again to animate the character walking forward. Walk cycles may be modified in many subtle ways to suggest information about a character’s age, gender, emotional state or personality.

Weighting : The process of determining which bone in a skeleton affects which part of a model’s surface mesh. In many cases, this is achieved by painting weight maps onto the surface of the model that delineate a particular bone’s area of influence.

Wireframe : A shading method in which a simple grid of lines is used to represent the basic contours of the underlying model. For many 3D artists, this is a favoured mode to work in, since it permits them to see faces and surfaces that would otherwise be hidden by overlying geometry.

World axes: See: Co-ordinate systems.

Z-depth : The distance a particular point or surface lies inside a scene. Z-depth information is used to calculate where a light casts shadows, and also to calculate which surfaces are visible to the camera during rendering, and which are obscured by nearer geometry.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Animation Glossary - T and U

Tej Kohli animation glossary, words starting with T and U.

Texture : A bitmap image that is applied to the surface of 3D object to give it detail. Texture maps may be either photographic images or procedural textures, and may be applied in each of the material channels of an object using a variety of mapping or projection methods.

Three-Point Lighting : A system of CG lighting derived from real-world cinematography, in which a scene is illuminated by three light sources: a Key light, which acts as the primary source of illumination for the scene; a Fill light, which illuminates shadow areas; and a Rim light, which illuminates the edges of objects and helps them stand out from the background.

Tiling : The process of duplicating a texture across the surface of an object. Tiling textures must be created so that the edge of one aligns perfectly with that of its neighbour, otherwise the result is a series of ugly seams. Highfrequency textures are those in which patterns repeat at short intervals over an object’s surface; low-frequency textures are those in which the intervals are larger.

Timeline : A fundamental element of the graphical user interface of most modern 3D software packages which shows the timing of the keyframes in a sequence of animation. Playback of the animation may be controlled either by a series of VCR-like controls, or by clicking and dragging with the mouse to ‘scrub’ a slider to and fro along the timeline.

Trimming : The process by which NURBS surfaces are edited. The trimming tools allow 3D artists to define areas on a NURBS surface that will be made invisible and not render out, even though their CVs still exist. Separate trimmed surfaces may be joined together by using a variety of techniques, including Attaching, Aligning, Filleting and Stitching.

UV Texture Co-ordinates : The co-ordinate system used for assigning textures to polygonal models. Since UV co-ordinate space is two-dimensional, one of several projection methods must be used to ‘unwrap’ the UVs from the model and lay them flat on a plane. Once unwrapped, the UV map may be screengrabbed and exported to a paint package for texture painting.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Animation Glossary - S

Tej Kohli Animation Glossary - Words begining with 'S'

Scene : A set of 3D objects, including the models themselves and the lights and camera that will be used when rendering them out.

Scene file See : File format.
Script : A small piece of code created in a 3D software package’s own internal programming language, and used to automate common or complex tasks.

Shading : The mathematical process of calculating how a model’s surfaces react to light. A variety of alternative algorithms can be used for the task, including Phong, Lambert, and Blinn shading models. Shaders are often built up as node-based shading trees, with each node controlling a specific aspect of the process.

Skinning : The process of binding the surface of a model to the underlying skeleton during character rigging.

Skeleton : An underlying network of bones used to define and control the motion of a model during character animation. Moving a bone causes the mesh of the model to move and deform.

Snapping : The automatic alignment of one object to another or to a reference grid, intended to aid the precise placement of objects within a scene or modelling hierarchy.

Soft-Body Dynamics : The simulation of the behaviour of soft bodies that deform on collision with other objects, such as cloth or fluid flows.

Specularity : A surface property of an object that determines the way in which highlights appear on that surface.

Spline See: NURBS.

Subdivision Surface : Also known as Sub-Ds, subdivision surfaces are surfaces created using a technique midway between polygon and NURBS modelling. They consist of an underlying polygonal base mesh, which is automatically subdivided by the software to create a smoothed final form. Sub-Ds combine much of the power of NURBS surfaces with the intuitive characteristics and ease of use of polygonal modelling tools.

Sweep : A modelling technique similar to extrusion in which a twodimensional profile is replicated along a path, then joined to form a continuous three-dimensional surface. Unlike extrusion, however, this path need not be perpendicular to the profile. By sweeping a circular profile along a helical path, for example, it would be possible to model a coiled cable of the type commonly found on telephones.

Symmetry : A modelling option in which any changes made to the model are duplicated across an axis of reflectional symmetry. This makes it possible to create complex symmetrical objects, such as a human or animal head, without having to work directly on more than one half of the model.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Animation Glossary - Q and R

Tej Kohli Animation Glossary - words starting with Q and R

Quad view : A method of displaying 3D scenes adopted by many high-end software applications, in which a scene is shown simultaneously in Top, Side, Front and Perspective views.

Radiosity : A technique for rendering 3D scenes. Radiosity simulates the way in which light bounces from surface to surface within a scene, and is more accurate, but also more processor-intensive, than raytracing.

Raytracing : A technique for rendering 3D scenes. Raytracing traces the path of every ray of light from its source until it either leaves the scene or becomes too weak to have an effect. The term is also sometimes applied to the reverse method: tracing the path of every ray of light from the camera backwards to the light source.

Reflection Map : An environment map used to simulate real-world reflection effects on the surface of a 3D object. Reflection maps render more quickly than methods that generate true surface reflections, such as raytracing.

Rendering : The process of converting the 3D data stored in a software package into the two-dimensional image ‘seen’ by the camera within the scene. Rendering brings together the scene geometry, Z-depth, surface properties, lighting set-up and rendering method to create a finished frame. Rendering comes in two forms: Display or Hardware rendering, used to display the scene on-screen in the software package’s viewports; and the more process or intensive Final-quality or Software rendering, which generates an image for output, and takes account of properties that Display renderingoverlooks, such as shadows, reflections and post-process effects.

Resolution : The size of the final image in pixels when rendering out a scene. Higherresolution renders contain more detail, but take longer to complete.

Rigging : The process of preparing a character model for animation, including setting up an underlying skeleton, complete with constraints, controllers and kinematic systems, and linking it to the mesh of the character model.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Animation Glossary : O and P

Welcome to Tej Kohli Animation Glossary
A generic term describing any item that can be inserted into and manipulated within a 3D scene. Models, lights, particle emitters and cameras are all objects.

Object file See: File format.

Origin See: Co-ordinate System, Axis.

Parent See: Hierarchy.

An area of a NURBS surface enclosed by a span square: the shape created by the intersection of four isoparms, two in the U direction, and two in the V direction.

Particle System
An animation system consisting of a large number of very small points whose behaviour is determined mathematically. A particle system typically consists of an emitter (which may be a point, surface or volume, and may emit particles directionally or in all directions) and a series of fields that determine the motion of those particles. Individual particles have a finite lifespan, and may possess attributes (such as colour, radius, and opacity) that vary over the course of that lifespan. Particle effects are commonly used to simulate fire, smoke, steam and other fluids, or to control complex animations such as crowd scenes.

Phong See: Shading.

Also known as image-based modelling, photogrammetry is the process of generating a fully textured 3D model from a series of photographs of a real object. Although it was once an expensive high-end technique, there is now a range of increasingly inexpensive photogrammetry software packages on the market.

A two-dimensional surface in Cartesian co-ordinate space. Essentially a flat sheet extending infinitely in all directions, a plane may be used to aid object manipulation, positioning and construction, and is not usually made visible in a final render.

A small piece of third-party software that is loaded into a 3D application in order to extend its functionality. Plugins commonly perform such specialist tasks as file conversion or data export, texture generation, and physics or fluid simulation. There are thousands of plugins currently available on the Internet, both commercially and as free downloads.

A one-dimensional point in coordinate space. Points can be linked up to form polygons, used as control
vertices for NURBS curves, or employed as nulls to control lights or cameras, amongst other functions.

A geometry element formed by connecting three or more points. A triangle, or three-point polygon, is the simplest form of polygonal geometry. Polygonal modelling is a fast, intuitive method of creating 3D objects, but does not easily generate smooth curved surfaces.

Post Processing
The manipulation of a rendered image, either to improve the quality of that image, or to create effects that cannot easily be achieved directly within the 3D software itself. Some 3D software packages can be set to automatically apply post-processing effects, such as motion blur or Depth of Field, after a frame is rendered.

A pre-generated list of settings for a particular 3D software package. Presets are usually used to control and customise properties such as rendering or lighting styles. Like plugins, they may either be commercial products, or freely downloadable from the Internet.

A time-saving method of checking the progress of a project by rendering it at a lower quality, resolution or frame rate than will be used for the final project.

A simple three-dimensional form used as the basis for constructive solid geometry modelling techniques. Typical primitives include the plane, the cube, the sphere, the cone and the torus.

Procedural Texture
A texture map that is generated by a mathematical function, rather than a real-world bitmap image projected over the surface of an object.

ProjectionThe process by which a twodimensional texture map is applied over the surface of a threedimensional object, as if it were an image projected from a slide projector. There are several common projection types, including Planar, Cubic, Spherical and Cylindrical. Which one is most appropriate depends on the type of map being projected, and the shape of the object it is being projected upon.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Animation Glossary : N

Learn the animation words begining with 'N' at Tej Kohli Animation Career Blog.

Negative Light
A light within a 3D scene that decreases the illumination on a surface instead of adding to it. Negative lights can be used to remove ‘overspill’ in brightly lit scenes.

An imaginary line drawn from the centre of a polygon (or other geometry object) at right angles to the surface.

A point within a 3D scene that does not render out, but which is used as a reference for other objects.

Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines. NURBS curves are two-dimensional curves whose shape is determined by a series of control points or CVs between which they pass. When a series of such curves are joined together, they form a threedimensional NURBS surface. Such surfaces have a separate co-ordinate space (known as UV co-ordinate space) to that of the 3D scene in which they are situated. NURBS are commonly used to model organic curved-surface objects.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

3D Animation Glossary : M

Learn 3D animation Vocabulary at Tej Kohli Animation Blog. Given below is the list of all the words starting with M.

Match-moving (Same as Camera Tracking)

Camera tracking is the process of ‘extracting’ the motion of the camera in space from a piece of live-action footage. This motion data can then be imported into a 3D software package and used to animate the virtual camera, in order to better match the rendered output to that of the source footage during the
compositing process.


A set of mathematical attributes that determine the ways in which the surface of a model to which they are applied reacts to light. These attributes are sub-divided into individual channels.


An area that can be protected and isolated from changes applied to the rest of the image.


The surface geometry of a 3D model, made up of a series of linked geometry elements such as polygons, patches or NURBS surfaces.

Metaball Modelling

A technique in which models are created using spheres (or, more rarely, other primitive objects) that attract and cling to each other according to their proximity to one another and their field of influence. Metaball modelling is particularly useful for creating organic objects.


Used as a verb, to model means to build a 3D object. Used as a noun, it means the 3D object created as the end product of the modelling process. A variety of different methods are used in 3D modelling, including polygonal, NURBS, Sub-D and metaball techniques.

Same as Deformer
Usually: a modelling tool which deforms the structure of an entire object. However, the exact meaning of the term varies from software package to software package.

To transform from one state to another. Morphing is commonly used in lip-synching, in order to transform the head model of a character between a variety of preset states (or ‘morph targets’),
corresponding to common facial expressions, in order to create the illusion of speech.

Motion Blur
An artefact of real-world cinematography in which the camera’s target object is moving too quickly for the camera to record accurately, and therefore appears blurred. Many 3D software packages simulate motion blur as a rendering effect, in order to increase the realism of 3D images or animation.

Motion Capture
Often abbreviated to mo-cap, motion capture is the process of recording the movements of a live actor, and converting them to a 3D data format which can then be applied to a virtual character.

Multi-pass Rendering
To render out the lighting or surface attributes of a scene as separate images, with a view to compositing them together later. Multi-pass rendering can be used simply to speed up the rendering process, or in order to develop the look of a scene by compositing the different passes together in various permutations.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tej Kohli's 3D Animation Glossary - J, K and L

Check out Tej Kohli's animation glossary for the alphabets J,K and L. Tej Kohli blog brings you a comrehensive list of animation related words, to help you improve your vocabulary.

Points of articulation between the bones in a character rig.

An image, or set of attributes for a 3D scene, used as a reference point in animation. The artist usually sets up keyframes manually at significant points in the action, and the computer calculates the in between values automatically.

A modelling technique in which a two-dimensional profile is duplicated in rotation around a reference axis, and the duplicates joined up to create a continuous three-dimensional surface. Lathing is particularly useful for creating objects with rotational axes of symmetry, such as plates, glasses, vases or wheels.

A level of an image that can be edited independently of the rest of the image.

In a real camera, a lens is a curved piece of glass or other transparent material that focuses light onto the film. Modern 3D software is capable of simulating a variety of optical distortions created by imperfections in real-world lenses, adding realism to the rendered output.

Lens Flare
A bright pattern on an image caused by the reflection and refraction of light within a camera. Although lens flares are actually artefacts of the photographic process, many 3D software packages offer artists the opportunity to add them deliberately in order to increase the realism of rendered output.

A point or volume that emits light onto a 3D object. Types of light supported within 3D packages include Point lights, which emit light in all directions from a single point; Spot lights, which emit light in a cone; Distant or Directional lights, which emit light rays in parallel, illuminating all surfaces within a scene; and Area lights, which emit light from two-dimensional surfaces.

Lip Synching
The process of matching a character’s facial movements to a spoken soundtrack during facial animation.

A modelling technique in which a continuous three-dimensional surface is created by selecting and
joining multiple two-dimensional cross sections or profiles.

Look Development
The process of developing the look of a 3D scene by compositing separate render passes together in
different permutations.

Low-Poly Modelling
The process of creating simplified models with low polygon counts, usually for use in videogames, where scenes must be rendered in real time, by software with a limited ability to handle complex models.

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