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.

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