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The 3D Glossary

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3D computer graphics software refers to programs used to create 3D computer-generated imagery. There are typically many stages in the "pipeline" that studios use to create 3D objects for film and games. Note that most of the 3D packages have a very plugin-oriented architecture, and high-end plugins costing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars are often used by studios. Larger studios usually create enormous amounts of proprietary software to run alongside these programs. (Wikipedia) Index

3D modeling is the process of developing a mathematical, wireframe representation of any three-dimensional object (either inanimate or living) via specialized software. The product is called a 3D model (or 3D object). It can be displayed as a two-dimensional image through a process called 3D rendering or used in a computer simulation of physical phenomena. Models may be created automatically or manually. The manual modeling process of preparing geometric data for 3D computer graphics is similar to plastic arts such as sculpting. (Wikipedia) Index



Any technique for reducing the visual impact of aliasing, or the "jaggies," on a computer graphics system. (

Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP)
An industry-standard expansion bus found in most modern PCs, specifically designed for graphics cards. It is a faster alternative to the PCI bus and allows graphics programs to store large amounts of data temporarily in the computer's system memory. The speed at which a GPU can access and use the information across the AGP bus has a large impact on graphics performance. ( Index

Alpha Blending
A graphics processing technique that simulates transparency or translucency for objects in a 3D scene to create visual effects like smoke, glass or water. Pixels in the frame buffer of a graphics system include three color components (red, green and blue) and sometimes an alpha channel component as well. The alpha channel data stores the degree of transparency, ranging from opaque to completely clear.( Index


Plugin :
Software module that "plugs in" an application in order to give it a specific additional functionality. (Virtuosa™ Glossary) Index


Texture mapping is a method for adding detail, surface texture, or colour to a computer-generated graphic or 3D model. Its application to 3D graphics was pioneered by Dr Edwin Catmull in his Ph.D. thesis of 1974. A texture map is applied (mapped) to the surface of a shape, or polygon. This process is akin to applying patterned paper to a plain white box. (Wikipedia) Index


Virtual reality (VR) is a technology which allows a user to interact with a computer-simulated environment, be it a real or imagined one. Most current virtual reality environments are primarily visual experiences, displayed either on a computer screen or through special or stereoscopic displays, but some simulations include additional sensory information, such as sound through speakers or headphones. Some advanced, haptic systems now include tactile information, generally known as force feedback, in medical and gaming applications. Users can interact with a virtual environment or a virtual artifact (VA) either through the use of standard input devices such as a keyboard and mouse, or through multimodal devices such as a wired glove, the Polhemus boom arm, and omnidirectional treadmill. The simulated environment can be similar to the real world, for example, simulations for pilot or combat training, or it can differ significantly from reality, as in VR games. In practice, it is currently very difficult to create a high-fidelity virtual reality experience, due largely to technical limitations on processing power, image resolution and communication bandwidth. However, those limitations are expected to eventually be overcome as processor, imaging and data communication technologies become more powerful and cost-effective over time.(Wikipedia) Index