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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