3d Vocabulary and keyboard shortcuts

8 Sep

Keyboard shortcuts


SCENE – All the work is included in the scene. Scenes are the way to organize the work.

PROJECT -Project normally includes different scenes that are linked or composited together in post-production state.

IMAGE – Even though the work is done in 3d, the final result is often a 2d image or sequence of images run one after another to create an illusion of motion. The 3d program calculates all the information inside the scene and produces a 2d image in rendering state.

FORM – All matter in the world has got a form. The form is a combination of how things look, feel and act in the physical world. This is something that an animator wants to mimic in 3d world, so that it looks believable to the viewer.

OBJECT – An element in 3d.  In 3d the lights, cameras, models etc. are all called an object. Object is something that the actions influence.

MODEL – A model has been created in the similar fashion that the sculptor works with the clay. There is an underlying wireframe structure that is covered in some kind of surface. Group of polygons that are created and linked together until the whole surface of a form is constructed is called a model. Gives an idea of the shape of the form.

PROPERTY – Properties are the characteristics of an object.

PARAMETER – Parameter is a value given to a property.

PERSPECTIVE VIEW – Most work in 3d is done in perspective world, where the elements appear smaller and distorted the further away from the camera they are placed.

ORTHOGRAPHIC VIEW – In orthographic world the objects appear the same at any given distance. They don’t change in size or shape.

DISPLAY MODE – The display mode influences on how the elements in the scene are represented to the viewer. It doesn’t show how objects appear when they are rendered. Objects can be seen smooth (with surface) Gouraud shading, wireframe (no surface, wireframe cage) Lines or textured (with colour and the influence of lighting) Gouraud shading.

GLOBAL/ OBJECT/ MODEL MODE – With the object mode on, the selections and actions are done to objects, not to the underlying geometrical structure.

EDIT MODE – Object’s underlying geometrical structure is modifiable. Used to change the shape of a model.

3d-SPACE – Is measured along three axis: the x axis is left and right (red), the y axis is up and down (green) and the z axis is front and back (blue).

TRANSFORM attributes – rotation, position and scaling.


POLYGONS – A 3d objects are constructed of polygons. A polygon at it’s simplest form is a triangle, which connects 3 vertices with three edges and creates a face between them.

MESH – When many polygons are connected to create a model it is called a mesh.

VERTEX – A point in 3d space

EDGE – A line connecting two vertices.

FACE (1 polygon) – An area that is defined by vertices and connecting edges.

SURFACE – The object created based on curves is called a surface. In many 3d applications curve based geometry is called a NURBs (Non Rational Uniform B-spline) surface.


ANIMATION – the series of still images shown rapidly one after the other, producing the illusion of the actual motion. The most animations are created in 24 fps.

POSITION – The place in 3d world coordinate system. Is defined by the objects pivot.

STATE – POSE/KEYPOSITION – A state of the character at a given time. The animation is constructed by setting up different poses and creating inbetweening motion from one to another.

KEYFRAME – Recorded pose/object state.

INBETWEEN – The change of movement from one pose to another.

CONTROL RIG/ARMATURE/SKELETON – The structure used to control the character in animation. Consists of connecting bones and joints. Works quite the same way that the skeleton works in the physical world.

LIGHTING – So that anything can be seen in 3d world, it needs virtual lights. Lighting as a process is the actions taken to reach the desired mood for the project.

SURFACING/TEXTURING – Refers to the way surfaces look. Each surface have different visual properties. Gives an idea of what the forms are made of. It’s the combination between material and texture.

MATERIAL  – Involves the basic visual properties of the surface. Imitates what the surface is made of. How does the light react when it hits the surface? Is the surface reflective? Is it rough or smooth? Is it transparent?

TEXTURE – texture helps to define the way the materials properties appear across the surface.

RENDERING – The process of creating a 2d-image out of the 3d-scene. The renderer analyzes the forms in the scene, and decides which ones are visible and which are not, and how they appear in perspective from the camera’s viewpoint.


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