3d animation · 3d Modelling Theory

Week 2: UV Mapping, Texturing & Shaders, Rigging and Animation

This UV Mapping

It is in basic terms placing a 2d image onto a 3d model. This is like template for where your digital skin, which is made from texturing and shaders, is placed.


Retrieved from: http://lechuhu.com/files/tutorial_files/images/part_05/part_05_01.jpg

However the process of flattening the 3d object to the 2d object is quite simple. It is the act of unfolding from a 3d shape, which is also known as uv unmapping. This gives a visual view of how the 3d shape looks like all folded out as a 2d shape with the use of y and axis. When viewing the flat form of the project, it will be also displayed in a full frontal view.

I found myself to be more of a visual and audio learner, so I did further research by watching the video above in the speed of 1.25.


Retrieved from: https://static-2.gumroad.com/res/gumroad/9145088260708/asset_previews/0398e52b4b4f0f522943a75306e71016/retina/uvwcover02.jpg

The video above gives further support on how uv mapping works, it is a process that involves multiple steps. “Cameras” from the program are used to reproduce the image onto a shape. Yet first the image is laid flat down and the 3d shape is unfolded over it. Any parts that do not clash with the 3d’s shape 2d outline will remain invisible when viewed in the model. After the mapping is done, the next step commences; Textures and shaders.

Texturing & Shaders

What is Texturing? What are Shaders? They are what make up the look of the model, though they don’t exactly give the model it’s shape. Shaders essentially makes the object to look what ever image you have on it have a certain amount of shine, gloss, opaqueness and other elements that add a more realistic feel. Textures on the other hand are what make up the surface of the model. Having more complex textures can make a piece of clothing look more realistic or skin look more human-like, perhaps more smooth even.


Retrieved from: https://ev111426.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/mdd_03.jpg

In the above example the process is the same, textures and shading are applied onto the model to make the look of the creature more life like. After the 2d image is applied to the uv map, the textures are added, along with the shaders making “skin” of the creature more realistic looking. Overall to repeat and rephrase the beginning statement the point of textures and shaders are to add to the model’s look. After this is done, the next step is Rigging.


Upon first seeing this world my natural assumption is that it would involve attach separate compartments of a 3d model together to work as connected object.


Retrieved from: http://www.oliversimonnet3d.com/images/gallery/rigging/ATLAS/atlas1.png

Upon further researched it was discovered rigging is actually smoothing out how the character moves. It allows for any faults or kinks in certain movements from certain views to be fixed and refined. It is a step required before actually animating to reassure that there is no or at least a decrease of problems that occurs during the animation process. Rendering can also occur during animation. There are multiple steps involved in rendering such as setting up a skeleton, making sure the joints work fine, squash and stretch of the model. A skeleton is the base of rigging, the first step, it is essential to make sure that there is a core base to work from as all other limbs will be in a way are connected to this core base, whether it be through another limb or just directly connected. After this is done Kinematics are tested out, meaning how the limbs move. This is also is where restraints are set on how much rotation is needed on certain parts of the model. All this will help on specifically you want the model to look when certain parts are moved. Then the process of testing and squash/stretch of the model commences. Another restraint can be set on this to how much exaggeration the model can go to when in the animation progress, which leads to the next topic.


Retrieved from: http://a.dilcdn.com/bl/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2013/02/Paperman-2.gif

Animation is a performance. It is the scene that is produced from your story board, character concepts, adding the elements to polish up the 3d models. Above is a gif from Disney’s, “Paper man” an animated short masterfully done to provoke multiple emotions from the way each scene is animated. Along with how the characters move and the general flow of said movement. There are multiple steps to animation, but it involves moving the 3d model step by step in order to produce a smooth movement, or rapid when needed.  A sequence of movements eventually creates a scene, followed by the the next scene afterwards. Of course the pictures above and below have more of an impact, after lighting, rendering and compositing is done, which will all be discussed in the next blog.


Retrieved from: http://24.media.tumblr.com/06cd06fa41bf81eccd21f3c02e2c4967/tumblr_meq2c1IFKZ1qiu7yxo1_500.gif

A.P.A Reference

Slick, J. (2017). 3D Model Components – Vertices, Edges, Polygons & More. [online] Lifewire. Available at: https://www.lifewire.com/3d-model-components-1952 [Accessed 5 Mar. 2017].

Slick, J. (2017). How Are 3D Models Prepared for Animation?. [online] Lifewire. Available at: https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-rigging-2095 [Accessed 5 Mar. 2017].

Cantor, J. and Valencia, P. (2004). Inspired 3D short film production. 1st ed. Indianapolis, IN: Premier Press, a Division of Course Technology.

Ward, A. (2008). Game character development. 1st ed. Course Technology PTR.


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