Glossary of Terms - for those new to Digital Art and DAZ 3D

McGyverMcGyver Posts: 4,875
edited January 2013 in New Users


Hello and welcome to the world of 3D graphics and modeling. I say that because if you are reading this you probably are new to this stuff and don't know any better than to be looking here and not somewhere that you could actually get a proper answer. I'm lordvicore and I'm compiling these terms and their definitions into a sort of "glossary", to give a quick answer to terms that often pop up on forums, conversations (yeah, right) and in CG magazines found in peoples bathrooms. I've also thrown in a few "internet abbreviations"and terms for any folks who may have just discovered "3D" or that the "web" is not just a thing spiders make on the back of your computer. You should also know that my English is bad (I speak "New York") and that I was raised by wolves who also taught me how to spell and use grammar (and potty trained me too, but that's another story altogether...). So if you don't find the answer you are looking for, don't like the way I write or find this annoying and pointless may I suggest you get the answer from someone who actually went to school and does not pee on the carpet.

You can also see the original post in the Old DAZ 3D Forum.



Aliasing:An artifact or distortion, often referred to as 'jaggies', that occurs in a digital image when not enough samples are taken to accurately represent straight lines and smooth transition between highly contrasted edges. In a 3D rendered image, the most common example is the stair-stepping effect seen along the edges of objects.

Alpha Channel: Alpha Channel is information about pixels stored in images.
This concept enables the storing of transparency information in images.

Amapi: Amapi is an application used for the conception and creation of high-end 3D models, often used for product design and architecture.In June 2006, Amapi, Eovia's last remaining product, was acquired by e frontier. However, the future of Amapi's development is unclear, as it relies on the rendering engine from Carrara 3, now a DAZ 3D product.

Ambient color: A global pervasive light color that is applied to a scene.

Ambient Light: Ambient Light is light that doesn't seem to come from a specific source, but is
just there. Look under the desk - it's pretty dark, but there's some light there. In the real world, this is caused by stray photons bouncing around and occasionally ricocheting under the desk. Ambient light is basic,minimal amount of light in the whole scene. Adding too much ambient light makes a scene look washed out. Since the light doesn't come from anywhere, all sides of an object are illuminated equally, and it won't have any shading on it.

Ambient Occlusion: 1- a shading method which attempts to approximate the way light radiates in the real world, particularly off what are normally thought of as non-reflective or matte surfaces.
2- (contributed by Valendar)-Ambient Occlusion is a simulation of how light tends to not reflect as much when two objects are close to each other, as their proximity causes it to bounce back and forth between the two objects, rather than off in the direction of the viewer. The practical end result is a mild self-shadowing in cracks and grooves. To see it in action, hold your palms facing each other about a handwidth apart, and look at them. Then bring them together, and look at the point where they meet - there will be a black line at the point of meeting, VERY rapidly fading to normal skin tone.
The primary use in rendering is to promote realistic light distribution. It can also be baked as a map, and overlaid on a texture (usually the specular or reflectivity maps) to further emphasize this effect, as well as to more accurately simulate metals and other reflective surfaces.

Anti-aliasing (AA): The process of averaging between pixels of different colors to remove aliasing artifacts. This result is a smoother, more blended transition between the edge of two areas rather than a distinctly jagged appearance. Some examples are oversampling/supersampling and filtering.

AFAIK: "As Far As I Know".

AO: Ambient Occlusion... See previous definition to find out what that is. Often confused with APO which is ArmPit Odor- a condition one develops when the ratio of bathing to computer use is not balanced.

Apps: Apps is short for for application. An app is software, that can run on your computer,the Internet, on a good phone or other electronic devices like Giant Killer Robots.

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange): The international standard that assigns unique seven-bit binary numbers to each of 128 standard characters, including letters, numbers, punctuation, and control codes (such as the character that marks the end of a line of text). Developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), ASCII (pronounced "askee") is one of the fundamental standards of computing. The ASCII Table shows the base 10 number for each character: An uppercase A, for example, is the number 65 and a lowercase z is the number 122. Several eight-bit codes based on ASCII have been developed to support languages other than English, adding a set of 128 "upper ASCII" characters (for a total of 256). A superset of ASCII called unicode adds a second byte for each character, raising the number of possible combinations to 65,536, enough to support the unique characters contained in hundreds of langauges around the world.

A.S.S.: Anonymous Stalker Syndrome(contributed by Rezca)

Autofold: The process of skewing, distorting, or folding geometry by selecting a specific point on an edge or face and moving the points

Avatar: An image or Icon one uses to misrepresent themselves online. Used in place of an actual photo of the person so as to avoid embarrassment and or terrifying small children.

Axis: Y and X axes, or Y, X, and Z axes, perpendicular lines used in the Cartesian coordinate system. Named after French mathematician and philosopher René Descartes, inventor of the "Cartesian Croissant".

Axis of Motion: In 3D space, the line that an object follows during movement.

Axis of Rotation: In 3D space, the line that an object rotates around.

Axonometric: Meaning 'measurable from the axes.' An axonometric projection is a view of a model in which lines appear parallel in both 3 dimensional and 2 dimensional space, and lines have a length that is to some scale.


Bad CGI Mojo: When nothing the tutorial says should work does work,following the manual or book proves useless and every fanboy of said program swears it it is you or your stupid computer and not the holy software.

Back light: A light positioned behind the scene to cast light on the edges of the scene objects.

Background image: An image file that is set to appear as though it is in back of the scene.

Baking: 1-Baking Textures:This involves taking a model, applying (usually) procedural maps or vertex based lighting, then rendering that to a diffuse (or other type of) map. As an example, one could use one's (baking capable) program of choice to render a pure white version of the object with Ambient Occlusion directly to a map, which is then brought in to your image editor of choice and multiplied, overlaid, or what have you on top of various other maps. It can add a lot of realism when multiplied over a specular or reflectivity map, among other things.
2-Baking Normals / Displacement:A bit more involved, this usually involves having two versions of a model - the low or mid polygon count version that is mapped and prepped, and a super-high polygon version with all of the detail in the actual model itself. Both are in the exact same pose and position, so that they overlap each other slightly. The program then (usually) creates a "cage" based on the lower poly figure, and uses this to determine ray casting direction. It then renders to a Normal Map or Displacement map, using the rays of the low poly where it hits the high poly and calculating both the angle of impact, and the height difference. The angle of impact is more important to a Normal Map, while the height difference is more important to a Displacement or Bump map.
3-Baking Morphs: Making the morphs work in export formats for other programs.(contributed by Valendar).

Beta: A term used to label software that is not quite ready for commercial release. Often this software has bugs, is missing functionality or makes you ask questions like "When are they going to fix this" or "What the hell were they thinking".

Bevel mapping: A beveled edge refers to an edge of a structure that is not perpendicular (but instead often at 45 degrees) to the faces of the piece. The words bevel and chamfer overlap in usage; in general usage they are often interchanged, while in technical usage they may sometimes be differentiated.

Bézier: Bézier surfaces were first described in 1972 by the French engineer Pierre Bézier who used them to design automobile bodies. Bézier surfaces can be of any degree, but bicubic Bézier surfaces generally provide enough degrees of freedom for most applications.

Bi-cubic spline (B-spline): A mathematical interpolation method of describing complex curves and surfaces.

Bilinear texture filtering: Bilinear texture filtering enhances a computer's ability to scale 3D graphics in a smoother, more realistic way. With 3D graphics, especially with games, you don't want a graphics card to grab texture maps from memory and simply write them on your computer screen: as the polygons drawn onscreen grew bigger, they would take on a blocky look. To improve the ability to scale 3D graphics, you need to filter them. Bilinear texture filtering does this by averaging the four adjacent texels (the basic elements of a texture map), thus creating a new texel that renders a more subtle, realistic texture.

Bitmap: A method of depicting a graphic image on a computer screen, a printer, or a scanner. As its name suggests, a bitmap is a map of dots--similar to what you see when you look at a photo of a nude person under a strong magnifying glass. Bitmaps come in many file formats (GIF, JPEG, TIFF, BMP, PICT, and PCX, to name a few) and can be read by paint programs and image editors such as Adobe Photoshop. If you scale up a bitmap, it will look blocky.

Blender: A sophisticated "freeware" modeling and animation program, know to cause the heads of "Noobs" to explode. Can be found here:
Also a device used to mix Frozen Margaritas, a useful way of relieving the pain when first learning "Blender".

BMP: Bit Map format(I don't know where that "P" comes from). A lossless compression format native to Microsoft Paint.

Bone: A rigid object analogous to a real bone, placed inside the ‘skeleton’ of a character during the process of rigging it for animation. When a bone is moved, it acts upon the mesh of the character model, deforming it.Also something a dog likes to chew on.

Boolean Modeling: A type of solid modeling that involves adding or subtracting from a "primitive" form such as a sphere. Think of it as sculpting with clay. Bryce uses Booleans to create complex shapes.
Named after George Boole, inventor of Boolean logic, which is the basis of modern digital computer logic. Really.

Bounding Box: Computer programs deal with onscreen objects, such as images, by placing them in an invisible rectangle called a bounding box. You can see an example of a bounding box by clicking an image inside a word processor such as Microsoft Word. The outline that appears around the image is the bounding box.

BO: Body Odor: a condition often arising from too much Internet or Computer use and not enough showering. A can of "Commercial Air Freshener" or "Industrial Body Spray" can be used to mask its effects on the environment.

Browser: A browser provides a graphical interface to the World Wide Web; it interprets hypertext links, displays images, and lets you view sites(and materials of questionable moral content) as well as navigate from one Web site to another.

Bryce: is a 3D modeling, rendering and animation program specializing in fractal landscapes. The name is taken from Bryce Canyon — a rugged region with many of the same landscapes that were first simulated with the software.The first commercial version by MetaCreations, Bryce 1.0, appeared in 1994 for the Macintosh. It was later sold to Corel and up to version 5.01 it languished until its 2004 purchase by DAZ 3D (YAY!).
It can be found here:
But... things change over time and for all I know, by the time you read this DAZ 3D may be run by giant mutant hamsters hellbent on renaming the company and all the software (GMH3D).

BTW: By the way. Also Big Tough Wombat.

Buffer underrun: An error that occurs when a memory buffer feeding a device runs out of data. For example, the data stream from your hard drive to your CD-recordable drive is interrupted by requests from another program, starving your CD drive's buffer and forcing the write laser to shut down. Until technologies came along like BURN-Proof, the buffer underrun would ruin your CD media. Buffer underruns can be caused by program or operating system glitches,gremlins, evil gnomes, a too-slow computer, or a CD-recordable drive with an insufficient buffer.

Bug: In the computer world, a bug is an error in a software program. It is believed that the term dates back to the 1940's when the Giant radioactive moth "Mothara" destroyed ENIAC the worlds first functional computer.

Bump: Or "Bumping" the act of making a simple post in a thread to "Bump" the thread back up to the front of the forum queue. Usually just the word "Bump" is posted.A side note about bumping: Quoting Richard Haseltine-(in reference to bumping)"Which is frowned on, since we don't want competitive bumping trying to keep people's favourite threads at the top of the list."
Thus try not to abuse this new knowledge and use the power of the "Bump" sparingly. After all "With great power comes great... something?"...My DVD of "Spiderman" always skips on that part, so I assume something great happens when you are powerful. So be careful how you use Bump or you could end up like Peter Parker's Uncle.

Bump mapping: Bump mapping is a technique where at each pixel, a perturbation to the surface normal of the object being rendered is looked up in a texture map and applied before the illumination calculation is done. Bump Mapping use a gray-scale image map to change the direction of surface normals. You can use this to simulate height, so that you can paint wrinkles and bumps.50 % grey means neutral (no change is made),lighter means higher, darker means lower. Note that the position of faces is not actually changed; by rotating just the normals, lighting will change too, to give the illusion of a height difference. This has downsides too: the outline of objects isn't changed, so the trick is given away. Okay, I copied and pasted that one... I'm not even sure what "perturbation" means... I'd of guessed something that too much of will give you hairy palms.


CAD: Computer Aided Design. Come on, did you really not know that? Could also refer to a man who seduces a young woman, often to her social or financial ruin or the former Central Ammunition Dump at Hawthorn, Wiltshire UK... it might still be for sale. Really, look it up.

Camera: A piece of software's interpretation of the user's point of view.

Caffeine: A bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid that is a psychoactive stimulant. Caffeine was isolated from coffee in 1820 by a German chemist, Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge Von Frankenstein to help make a monster he had created, dance better. Caffeine is found in varying quantities in the seeds, leaves, and fruit of some plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects feeding on the plants.
Caffeine which is also found in Tea, Cola, Coffee and Mountain Dew is often consumed in large quantities by those addicted to or employed in the area of CGI art. It is generally used to gradually replace the highly inadequate naturally occurring human blood which is of no use to CGI artists. This strategy creates a state where sleep is no longer necessary and dreams and reality blur into one swirling kaleidoscope of thought and universal singularity, as well as having the added benefit of helping paralyze and kill certain large carnivorous insects which feed on CGI artists while they wait for their renders to complete.
*Disclaimer: Do not replace your blood with caffeine based beverages, it is very painful and messy and most of the insects that are feeding on you while you work, will only feed faster due to their own built up immunity and addiction to caffeine.

Camera Dots: An interface control in Poser, used to remember and recall camera properties and positions.

Cartesian Coordinates: A three dimensional system whereby the position of a point can be defined with reference to a set of axes at right angles to each other.

Carrara: Is a general purpose modeling, 3D figure posing, landscape design, rigid and soft-body dynamics, animation and rendering application. Carrara is compatible with Poser and DAZ format 3D figures and includes a selection of landscape generation tools, together with its more traditional modeling features. Carrara began in 1996 when MetaCreations merged two of it's newly acquired 3D graphics programs Ray Dream Studio and Infini-D into one single application. In 2000 MetaCreations sold Carrara to Eovia. Evovia developed Carrara until version 5 when in 2006 it was acquired by DAZ 3D. Today it can be found here:

1- The light patterns generated on a surface by refracted or reflected light rays. Photon mapping is one example of this.
2-Caustics in optics is a bundle of light rays. For example a caustic effect may be seen when light refracts or reflects through some refractive or reflective material, to create a more focused, stronger light on the final location. Such amplification, especially of sunlight, can burn — hence the name. A common situation when caustics are visible is when some light points on glass. There is a shadow behind the glass, but also there is a stronger light spot. Nowadays, almost every advanced rendering system supports caustics. Some of them even support volumetric caustics. This is accomplished by raytracing the possible paths of the light beam through the glass, accounting for the refraction, reflection, etc.

CD: Compact Disc.... where the hell have you been?

Child: An object assigned to a "Parent" object. A child object is controlled by the parent object it is linked to. Also a small human.

CINEMA 4D: Is a modeling, animation and rendering package developed by MAXON Computer GmbH. It is capable of procedural and polygonal/subd modeling, animating, lighting, texturing and rendering.

CKP: Cute Kitty Pictures.

Clipping plane: A plane positioned parallel to the camera that defines the border beyond which scene objects are not visible.

Cloud of points: A set of x-y-z coordinates obtain from a 3D scanner or digitizer. The data can then be turned into a continuous surface and used in a 3D model. Often used in reverse engineering applications.

COLLADA (COLLAborative Design Activity): A data exchange format for 3D applications (specification by Sony/Khronos). COLLADA files .DAE are based on XML.

Collision Detection: In video games and computer simulations, collision detection involves using algorithms to check for collision, or intersection, of two "solid" objects.

Compositing: The combination of two or more images to create a new image. A simple example would be a foreground character superimposed over an environmental background.

Conforming clothes: Clothes or props that are designed to fit a particular character exactly and to remain fitting as the character's pose changes.

Conforming prop: A model object that is deformed to fit a given character.

Constrained group: (in dynamic clothing) A group of cloth vertices that are constrained so as to not be moved by the dynamic simulation.

Constructive Solids Geometry (CSG): A solid modeling method using primitives to build more complex models and Boolean operations of add, difference, and intersection.

Content Collection: A group of content gathered together that can include content from several different categories.

CCT: Short for Content Creator Toolkit, a feature new to DAZ Studio 4 Pro and also available separately as a Plugin for DAZ Studio Advanced, it includes the following features:
• Weight-Map Brush - Paint TriAx and traditional weight-maps for your figures.
• Transfer Utility- Transfer rigging, grouping, and shapes from one object in your scene to another.
• Polygon Group Editor Tool - Create/Edit polygon groups on any model.
• Figure Setup Tab - (previously Skeleton Setup) Define the bone hierarchy for a figure, associated geometries, and the relationships between them.
• Joint Editor Tool - Manipulate the Joint Parameters of a figure, along with the ability to create and/or remove bones.
• CR2 Exporter - Export figures to the Poser Character (.cr2) format.
• Property Editor Tab - Mass editing of property attributes, as well as creation, deletion, grouping, ordering and linking.
• ERC Freeze - Adjust property values (via Parameters tab or Presets/Poses) and link those properties to a controller; automatically calculating the scalar required to drive the properties to their current value when the controller is set to its current value (or 1 in the case of a 0 value).
• Morph Loader Pro - Quickly and easily add your own custom and third-party morphs to objects in your scene, using Wavefront Object (*.obj) files, with many more options and much greater control than the Advanced version.
• ExP Exporter - Generate ExP product files through a visual interface. This tool greatly simplifies a very tedious and time-consuming process that had to be done by hand prior to this tool.

A great help to individuals serious about content creation for DAZ studio and not to be confused with Cybernetic Chipmunk Terrorist which is something altogether different.

Convex hull: The “skin” created by enclosing all the extreme points of a 3D object.

Cookie: A small data file written to your hard drive by most Web sites. Cookies typically contain such items as passwords, lists of pages you've visited, or the dates when you last looked at certain pages. Web sites usually read the cookies they leave every time you visit in order to track user behavior in aggregate. When you register at a site, cookies can make logging in later unnecessary, but they also enable a site to log every session under your name. Also a small disc shaped baked good often consumed with milk.

Coplanar: A reference to entities that exist in the same plane.

Chord length: The distance between the starting point and the ending point of an Arc entity.

CSG: Constructive Solid Geometry- Term used in some apps for boolean geometry. Constructing solid objects from simple 'primitives'.-(contributed by AestheticDemon)

Cute Kitty Pictures: Used to defray tension in volatile forum debates and to hijack a thread bringing it off topic faster than the speed of light. (by: DestinysGarden)

CV: Control Vertex. a control handle or point used to manipulate the shape of a NURBS curve.

Post edited by frank0314 on


  • DAZ_bfurnerDAZ_bfurner Posts: 62
    edited December 1969



    Daemon: A computer daemon is a constantly running program that triggers actions when it receives certain input. For example, a printer daemon spools information to a printer when a user decides to print a document. A daemon running on a mail server routes incoming mail to the appropriate mailboxes. Web servers use an "HTTPD" daemon that sends data to users when they access Web pages. I added this one because I always get a "Daemon failure notice" from Yahoo....

    DAZ (AKA DAZ 3D) : 1- Digital Art Zone. 2-A Theoretical point in space where one can spend countless hours and untold quantities of cash.

    DAZ Studio: Is a 3D figure illustration/animation application produced by DAZ 3D, which allows you to render and animate poseable characters and other figures and props. It is compatible with most files intended for use by Poser. Version 1.0 was released in Fall 2005. It was created as a direct alternative to Poser by DAZ Productions, the company that (as Zygote) created the built-in content for earlier versions of Poser. Often abbreviated DS, followed by version number (DS2 = DAZ Studio 2, DS3A = DAZ Studio 3 Advanced, etc). Not to be confused with DAZ (see separate entry)(contributed by Deecey )

    DAZ soon: 1- A general good natured attempt at relating an unspecified or incomprehensible time frame to human understanding. 2- An expression of a theory in quantum physics where time actually stops. 3- Equal to or greater than a Epoch. 4- Wishful thinking.

    Debugger: Someone who chases buggers away.

    Default material: A material assigned to all newly created objects. That crummy grayish/white color an untextured object is given.

    D-formers: (in DAZ Studio) D-formers are used to Deform a mesh, they can push and pull on any mesh to reshape it based on a spherical falloff. While, often they are used in combination to create morphs, they can also be used to deform an object for a scene in an animation, for example if you have someone sitting down on a couch you could attach a D-former to the couch and position it in the place the person is sitting and use the D-former to create an impression in the couch as the person sits down.(Quoting WillDupre in response to a question about this subject)

    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.

    Defragmentation: Hard disks tend to break files into pieces, with each piece stored in the nearest location available as the file is saved. Over time, files can become fragmented all over the hard disk, causing the drive to slow down as it reassembles those pieces when an application wants to load a file into memory. A defragmentation utility (such as Windows' Disk Defragmenter) unscrambles the files, rewriting them contiguously onto the hard disk for quick access.

    Demo Software: Some software manufacturers release demonstration versions of their commercial programs for free. Often available for download at the manufacturer's Web site, demos give you the flavor of the real full-blown application but with some sort of limitation: perhaps the juiciest features are disabled, or you can't save anything you create, or the demo is a full working copy that simply expires after a certain number of days (the latter is commonly referred to as an evaluation version).

    Depth cueing: A rendering technique to provide depth perception by dimming lines further away from the viewer.

    Depth of Field (DOF): Depth of Field is the distance in front of and behind the subject which appears to be in focus. For any given lens setting, there is only one distance at which a subject is precisely in focus, but focus falls off gradually on either side of that distance, so there is a region in which the blurring is tolerable. This region is greater behind the point of focus than it is in front, as the angle of the light rays change more rapidly; they approach being parallel with increasing distance.

    Diffuse color: The color of an object where it receives direct illumination.

    Diffuse mapping: Diffuse reflection is the reflection of light from an uneven or granular surface such that an incident ray is seemingly reflected at a number of angles. It is the complement to specular reflection. If a surface is completely nonspecular, the reflected light will be evenly spread over the hemisphere surrounding the surface (2π steradians).
    Do not ask me what steradians are... unless they are the ones from the old Hegamov joke: Two Steradians walk into a Pub on Galkzore 4 and order a decapint of fleeg. The barkeep's daughter comes out to serve them and reaches over with her primary forelimb and.... ah, never mind this is a family place.

    DirectX: A hardware standard that enables programmers to develop for a single set of APIs rather than many different makes and models of hardware. The standard includes Direct3D (for 3D graphics), DirectSound (for multiple audio sources), DirectDraw (for 2D graphics), DirectVideo (for AVI files and other movies), DirectPlay (for multiplayer gaming), and DirectInput ( for joysticks and other game input hardware).

    Displacement mapping: 1- An alternative technique to bump mapping, normal mapping, and parallax mapping, that uses a heightmap to cause an effect where the actual geometric position of points over the textured surface are displaced along the surface normal according to the values stored into the texture.
    2-Displacement Mapping uses a greyscale heightmap, like Bump Mapping, but the image is used to physically move the vertices of the mesh at render time. This is of course only useful if the mesh has large amounts of vertices. This makes it much slower than Bump Mapping, as there need to be many more faces to render, but it is much more realistic.

    Dolly: A camera movement that brings the view closer or further from the scene. Also a derogatory term for CGI vixens.

    Dongle: A small piece of hardware that connects to a computer or laptop. It is a portable device and is often identical in appearance to a USB Pen. Although earlier use of dongles was to authenticate a piece of software, the word dongle is now widely used to refer to a broadband wireless adaptor. Not what you thought it was, eh?

    DXF: DXF is the Drawing Exchange Format defined by Autodesk.

    Dynamics: The branch of mechanics dealing with the way masses move under the
    influence of forces and torques. Increasingly used to drive animations by the application of physical laws.


    Edge: The boundary between two faces of a mesh model. An edge is a straight line connecting two vertices, and bounded by a face on either side.

    Edge entity: Edge bound faces within geometry. The term edge and line are often used interchangeably.

    Edge Loop: 1- Contains vertices in row in such way that each vertex of the loop has two neighbour vertices except for the ends that can have more or less neighbours. In other words an edge loop ends in a pole or it does not end at all. In that case it is cyclic.
    2- Means the normalized vector in which the edge is headed to.
    3- Is a tool used to move an edge loop between adjacent edge loops. It also supports partial edge loops.

    Edge-based modeling: A type of modeling in which a model's surface is automatically created for 3 intersecting coplanar edges.

    Entity: An Entity is a graphical object. An object with a graphical representation.

    Environment Map (EnvMap): Is the method of calculating reflections. Involved rendering images at strategic positions and applying them as textures to the mirror. Now in most cases obsoleted by Raytracing, which though slower is easier to use and more accurate.

    Exporting: The process of saving files to a format to be used in an external program other than the one they where created in.

    Extrude: The action of thrusting out or growing a form. A simple process of converting 2D shapes into 3D. A copy of the 2D shape is moved perpendicular to the original, then connected to the original to create a closed surface. For example, extrusion can be used to create renderable 3D logos from 2D text shapes.


    Face: A planer entity bounded by 3 or more intersecting coplanar edges or lines, primarily used in surface modeling.

    Face Loop: Is an extension of an edge loop in that sense that it contains two adjacent edge loops.

    Face normal: A non-rendering line which points out perpendicular to the surface of a face. Faces have only one normal, which determines which side of the face is renderable. If a normal is pointed away from the camera, that face will not render, and the camera will “see through” the face as if it were not there. Special two-sided faces will render regardless of the orientation of the normal relative to the camera. Also called polygon normals or surface normals.

    Fall-Off: The way in which the intensity of light diminishes the further it gets from the source.

    FAT: File Allocation Table or a condition generated by too much computer use and not enough exercise.

    FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions. Not to be confused with FAAQWOAs or Frequently Asked Annoying Questions With Obvious Answers.

    FBX: A technology and a file format (.fbx) owned and developed by Autodesk. It is used to provide interoperability between digital content creation applications. FBX originated as a replacement file format for Montreal-based Kaydara's "FiLMBOX" software.

    FGON: Is a way to hide triangles and quads on even face. This is not same thing as an NGON because an FGON is only a visual tool.

    Feature-based modeling: A method of building and editing 3D models (usually solid models) by using standard features such as holes, slots, bosses, etc.

    Firewall: A computer firewall limits the data that can pass through it and protects a networked server or client machine from damage by unauthorized users. Also refers to a burning wall.

    Flat shading: A rendering method whereby each polygon face has a constant shade and which does not smooth any edges among faces, resulting in a faceted look. Also known as constant shading.

    Flipping Normals: This is done to change the direction of face normals to the opposite direction.

    Forumites: "A word I made up, but somebody probably made it up before me..." -(contributed by AJ Savill)

    Forward Kinematics Animation: An animation method where the positions of child objects in an articulated “chain” are determined by the position and orientation of its parent object. EX: in a hierarchical linkage of a human figure, when the torso (the parent) bends over, the head (the child) moves along with it, but the head can be turned without affecting the torso.

    Fractal: A mathematical object that exists “between dimensions.” The most famous fractal, the Mandelbrot set, can be represented as a flat image. However, its boundary has infinite detail, so it is possible to zoom infinitely deep into the image. For this reason it is considered a 2.5-D object. Far out man....

    Freebie Archive: (Also known as DAZ Free Weekly Archive) An often forgotten or overlooked collection of older DAZ weekly freebies. Once a well known source of free models this ancient archive has slipped into obscurity and is only spoken of in the darkest of nights by mages well versed in the black arts. It can be summoned by an animal sacrifice or by clicking on this link:
    (Please but the hamster down and use the link...okay).

    Freepozitory: Either a forum to announce free models gifted to one's fellow CGI addicts, which can be found here:
    or a free suppository.

    Software that is INTENDED to be used for free. No 30 day limit, no demo versions, no disabled features -- it's totally free.Though freeware does not cost anything, it is still copyrighted, so other people can't market the software as their own. Often considered by cheap people(like me) to be the only kind of software worth having.

  • DAZ_bfurnerDAZ_bfurner Posts: 62
    edited December 1969



    Gamma: The contrast curve of a recorded image. Increasing the gamma of an image makes it appear brighter (more washed out); decreasing the gamma makes the image darker (muddier). Gamma correction is applied at many stages of the image creation process.

    General Freepozitory: The correct forum to post links to freebies you have found or made. It is not for requests for freebies or searches for freebies. Although it does have lists of of freebie websites stickied at the top of the page. Check it out frequently for lots of neat stuff!

    Geometry: The combination of 3 or more entities. Geometry in CGI modeling usually refers to an indistinguishable portion of a component, group or model.

    Giant Mutant Hamsters: An energetic new force in the CGI software business. Future holdings to include GMH3D.

    Gigabyte: A gigabyte is 2 to the 30th power, or 1,073,741,824 bytes.

    Gizmo: A visual aid that helps the user understand the transformations being applied to an object.

    GKR: Giant Killer Robots. A type of electronic device that goes around smashing large buildings and fighting Giant Prehistoric Monsters like Godzilla. Typically found in Japan.

    Global illumination: 1- A family of algorithms which, when determining the light falling on a surface, takes into account not only the light which has taken a direct path from the light source (direct illumination), but also light which has undergone reflection from other surfaces in the scene (indirect illumination).
    2-Global Illumination (GI) is a superset of radiosity and ray tracing. The goal is to compute all possible light interactions in a given scene, and thus obtain a truly photorealistic image. All combinations of diffuse and specular reflections and transmissions must be accounted for. Effects such as color bleeding and caustics must be included in a global illumination simulation.

    GNU: GNU (pronounced "guh-NOO") is a Unix-like (GNU is not Unix) operating system that's upwardly compatible with Unix. In addition to being an OS, it is also a philosophical statement about software development. GNU's creator, Richard Stallman, stipulated that GNU would be free for anyone to use, copy, alter, develop, share, and distribute, but no one could restrict its distribution in any way. The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) establishes this free distribution system, called copyleft. Stallman's GNU Project is managed by the nonprofit Free Software Foundation. The core, or kernel, of the popular Linux OS is the best-known program that falls under the GNU GPL.

    God Ray(or Godrays): Crepuscular rays , in atmospheric optics, are rays of sunlight that appear to radiate from a single point in the sky. These rays, which stream through gaps in clouds or between other objects, are columns of sunlit air separated by darker cloud-shadowed regions. The effect is more or less the same in 3D.

    Google: A very powerful internet search engine located by typing into one's web browser address bar. Intelligent employment of said search engine can possibly avoid embarrasing FAAQWOAs.(by: DestinysGarden). Also can be used instead of DAZ's "search function" to actually find something. Go ahead, try Googling "For Noobs: A Glossary of sorts". See... it really works.(suggested by: Seacanyon)

    Gouraud shading: In 3D graphics, the polygons that make up the images need to be shaded; otherwise, you'd see a chicken-wire framework instead of a realistically rendered graphic. Gouraud shading is a complex process using algorithms to create a color gradient. This shading is acceptable for gaming worlds and is a solid criterion in benchmark quotes. Other shading techniques are flat shading and Phong shading.

    GPS: Stands for "Global Positioning System." GPS is a satellite navigation system used as an alternative to getting to one's destination the direct way. Also good for finding new ways to drive a car into a lake or frozen pond.

    Graphics Accelerator: A circuit board (or card) that enables a computer to display graphics on a monitor. Most computers have a graphics accelerator that contains its own processor, in order to speed up the processing of displaying the complex 2D and 3D graphics tasks required by many gaming and graphics programs. A graphics accelerator is the same thing as a video adapter.

    Ground plane: A flat or level surface representing the ground. Sometimes represented by a grid.

    Group entity: An entity that contains other entities. Groups are commonly used to combine several entities into a single entity for the purposes of performing a quick operation, such as a copy and paste.

    GUI: Graphic User Interface. How the screen you use to communicate with the computer looks and operates, the placement and look of its tools and icons.
    This concept varies from program to program. Some are easy to understand while other were obviously created by blind drunken brain damaged incontinent orangutans with sledge hammers. I'm not bitter.


    HDRI: High dynamic range imaging.A set of techniques that allows for a far greater dynamic range of exposures than normal digital imaging techniques. The intention of HDRI is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes ranging from direct sunlight to the deepest shadows.

    Hexagon: is a subdivision modeler owned by DAZ 3D. It was originally developed and published by Eovia and was acquired shortly before the release of version 2.0 by DAZ in 2006. The main focus is Subdivision modeling but it includes Spline tools and surface tools. Latest version is found here:

    Hierarchy: The relationship of the sub-objects within a model or a scene to one another. Sub-objects may exist as parents, children or independents. A parent object controls the motion of all child objects linked to it, although the motion of a child object does not affect that of the parent.

    Hier file: (short for hierarchy file) An older file format based on hierarchical data used in Poser 3 to create figures.

    Healing: The concept of joining two faces by erasing, or 'healing' a line that intersects a face. Creating one face from two.

    Heightmap: A grayscale digital image used to store 3D data. Usually used in bump mapping, displacement mapping and for terrain mesh generation.

    HTML (Hypertext Markup Language): HTML is a collection of formatting commands that you can add to a document so that it can be displayed on the Web. The HTML commands embedded in the page format the page's text and graphic elements. The last version of HTML was version 4.01. Development and maintenance of HTML standards is coordinated by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). In 2000, the W3C replaced HTML 4.01 with the new XHTML, which could be thought of as version 5.0 of HTML. XHTML fully supports the commands and features of HTML 4.01, but it's actually an application written in a language called XML (Extensible Markup Language). Unlike with HTML, developers can "extend" the standard by creating new types of markup without having to wait for the W3C to officially release a new version.

    Hull: A group of straight lines connecting the CVs of a NURBS surface.


    IES: The IES data format is an internationally accepted data format used for describing the light distribution of luminaires. It can be used in numerous lighting design, calculation and simulation programs. The data is provided as a complete archive; however, a specific selection according to the technical environment and individual product range is also possible.

    IJFOTWWML: Short for "I Just Fell Out The Window With My Laptop". Usually followed by a plea for help or medical attention.

    Inference: The identification of relationships between entities in the drawing area. These relationships are pointed out to the user by the inferencing engine and can be used as references for drawing in 3D space. More prevalent in CAD software.

    Infini-D: was a 3D computer graphics program developed by Specular International. It was continued by MetaCreations when Specular merged with them, developing up to version 4.5, then combined with Ray Dream Studio to create Carrara. Soon after, Metacreations divested itself of all products other than MetaStream, including Carrara, which was sold to Eovia.

    Intersection: The concept of splitting faces and edges to create additional independent faces and edges by intersecting the face or edge with a line.

    Image-Based Lighting(IBL): A technique in which a photographic reference image is used as an environment map to control the surface illumination of a 3D object, in order to create subtle real-world lighting effects.

    Index Of Refraction (IOR): Index Of Refraction (IOR) is about the way that light passes through different types of materials... diamond, glass, water etc. When a light ray travels through the same volume it follows a straight path. However if it passes from one transparent volume to another, it bends. This is why a straw in water looks bent. The amount of bending differs between materials. The angle by which the ray is bent can be determined by knowing two things: the angle at which the incoming ray has been cast and the Index of Refraction. This IOR value is unique for every material. Glass has an IOR of about 1.5 and water 1.3. By increasing the IOR value for a material, you can control how much the environment behind the transparent object is distorted, and thus improving the realism of the shader.(from Kerkythea Basics manual)

    Interpolation: 1-The mathematical procedure by which a 3D software package calculates the in-between positions between two keyframes.
    2-Interpolation is an animation curve: when used it will smooth the transitions between the camera positions selected in a camera path.

    Inverse Kinematics Animation: Animation method that consist on positioning the ending limb of an articulated “chain” to obtain an automatic pose or articulation of the whole chain.

    IP address (Internet Protocol address): This address is a 32-bit, unique string of numbers that identifies a computer, a printer, or another device on the Internet. The IP address consists of a quartet of numbers separated by periods. Each number can be anything from 0 to 255, for example: An IP address can be either static, meaning it never changes, or dynamic, meaning the address is assigned randomly to a computer for only as long as the Internet session lasts. Dynamic IP addresses are commonly used in large corporations and online services for efficiency. For instance, AOL, which uses proxy servers, assigns its users IP addresses dynamically from an existing set of IP addresses; each time an AOL user logs on, he or she gets a different IP address.

    IT: Short for Information Technology. Also a member of the Adam's Family.

  • DAZ_bfurnerDAZ_bfurner Posts: 62
    edited December 1969



    Joints: Points of articulation between the bones in a character rig. Not to be confused with a type of illegal cigarette.

    JPEG: Stands for "Joint Photographic Experts Group".


    Kangaroo: A large Australian marsupial.

    Kbps: Kilobits Per Second.

    Kernel: The essential core of a computer operating system, upon which the rest of the operating system depends. In general, the kernel provides low-level services, such as memory management and basic hardware interaction.

    Keyboard: A piece of computer hardware used to store potato chip crumbs and other snack fragments as well as dead bugs,boogers and molted hair. Ever work IT?

    Keyframe: An image, or set of attributes for a 3D scene, used as a reference point in animation. In computer animation, the animator defines the keyframes and the computer generates the intermediate frames (process called tweening).

    Kibibyte: A unit of data storage that equals 2 to the 10th power, or 1,024 bytes.While a kilobyte can be estimated as 10^3 or 1,000 bytes, a kibibyte is exactly 1,024 bytes.

    Kilobyte: A kilobyte is 2 to the 10th power, or 1,024 bytes.

    Kibblebytes: What a hungry dog eats.


    Lathing: 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. Often the process used to make wheels,vases and spindles.

    Layer: A level of an image that can be edited independently of the rest of the image. Also in some modeling programs layers are used to control the visibility of geometry within large models.

    Light probe: (in Poser) An environmental image taken of a reflective sphere that holds lighting information about the entire scene.
    (in Alien Abductions) The bright white probe used to prod about in deep dark orifices.

    LightWave: Is a software package used for rendering 3D images, both animated and static. It includes a rendering engine that supports such advanced features as realistic reflection and refraction, radiosity, and caustics. The 3D modeling component supports both polygon modeling and subdivision surfaces.

    Lip Synching: The process of matching lip movement to spoken dialog.

    LOD: Level Of Detail. This is often referred to as how many polygons represent the shape. A low LOD has fewer polygons etc.

    LOL: Laughing Out Loud. Related- LO: Laughing Outside. LI: Laughing Insanely. LD: Laughing Demonically. LWIAN: Laughing While Intoxicated And Naked.

    Low Poly: Low polygon count. Also a short parrot.

    Luminance :Luminance is the density of luminous intensity in a given direction. In astronomy, luminosity is the amount of energy a body radiates per unit time. It is typically expressed in the SI units watts, in the cgs units ergs per second, or in terms of solar luminosities, Ls; that is,how many times more energy the object radiates than the Sun, whose luminosity is 3.827×1026 W. ...Now repeat that with your eyes closed.

  • DAZ_bfurnerDAZ_bfurner Posts: 62
    edited December 1969



    Map: In 3D graphics, a map is an image used within a material. The purpose of a map is to vary some material attribute across a surface. For example, a texture map alters the color of an object, and a bump map simulates roughness. 2D maps, including all bitmaps, require mapping coordinates, which tell the renderer how to project the map onto the 3D object. 3D procedural textures do not require mapping coordinates, because they are volumetric.

    Material: 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.

    Maya: Is 3D computer graphics software that runs on Linux, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows, originally developed by Alias Systems Corporation (based on code from a previous Alias product, Alias Sketch!) and currently owned and developed by Autodesk, Inc. It is used to create interactive 3D applications, including video games, animated film, TV series, or visual effects.

    Megabyte: A megabyte is 2 to the 20th power, or 1,048,576 bytes.

    Megahertz: One megahertz is equal to one million cycles per second. It is used to measure transmission speeds of electronic devices. The most common area you will see Megahertz used is in measuring processor clock speed, such as an 80000 Mhz Pentium XXII. Also what you get when you fall down the stairs and out the window next to the landing and fall onto the broken bottle collection below.

    Megapixel: 1 million pixels.A camera's megapixel number is calculated by multiplying the number of vertical pixels by the number of horizontal pixels captured by the camera's sensor, or CCD.

    Mesh: The surface geometry of a 3D model, made up of a series of linked geometry elements such as polygons, patches or NURBS surfaces.
    A 3D object composed of triangular faces. A mesh object has no true curvature. The appearance of curvature is achieved by increasing the number of faces (level of detail), and by edge smoothing during render time.

    Metaball modeling: 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.

    Middleware: Software that enables two separate programs to communicate, regardless of whether they run on different platforms or come from different vendors. Examples include software that connects a Web browser to a database and allows users to request information by filling out Web-based forms; software that lets a program written for a specific database access other databases as well; and enterprise application integration programs that tie together different applications across a corporate network.

    MIP mapping: A texture-mapping technique used to produce high-quality computer-generated graphics and 3D animation. In this approach, a high-resolution texture map is scaled into multiple resolutions before it is applied to a surface; this reduces moiré patterns and jagged edges. MIP stands for multim im parvo, Latin for "many things in a small space."

    Modeling: Construction of geometric objects in 3D scenes. Models describe the forms of objects, but not their material properties or how they move.

    Modifier: 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.

    Modo: A polygon and subdivision surface modeling, sculpting, 3D painting, animation and rendering package developed by Luxology, LLC. The program incorporates features such as n-gons, 3D painting and edge weighting, and runs on Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows platforms.

    Moiré pattern: An interference pattern, which looks like waves or ripples and appears in closely spaced lines or finely detailed patterns, that sometimes occurs in images that have been scanned or are displayed on computer monitors. In CGI this can often occur when viewing a fine or complex tiling texture from far away. Named after Maury Moiré, voted most annoying IT person of 2002. I may have made that last part up...

    Morph: 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.

    Morph Targets (a.k.a.-Mesh Targets): The process of causing a mesh to reshape itself into a different form by modeling the different shapes and interpolating between them.

    Mouse: A small rodent named after a piece of computer hardware. Often found living off the crumbs in a keyboard.

    .: Moved to the commons as it is a request for, not an offer of, a freebie. The abbreviation of what is probably the most often used phrase in the General Freepozitory. It is used by the benevolent and wise (and all around pleasant chap) forum moderator Richard Hazeltine to inform individuals as to the reason for the redirection of their request to the commons.-
    Also:According to the Haseltine Watcher's Guild, the exact wording varies slightly over time. Have been duly recorded the following variations:

    Moved to the Commons as it's a search for, not an offer of, a freebie.
    Moved to the Commons as it's a request for, not an offer of, freebies.
    Moved to the Commons as it's a request for, not an offer of, a freebie.
    (contributed by Houri and rg5a)

    Mudbox: Is a high end computer-based 3D sculpting and painting tool. Currently developed by Autodesk.


    NGon (AKA- NGON or N-gon): A face with MORE than 4 sides. Also a VERY popular name for Vietnamese restaurants.

    Node: In computer science, a node is an abstract container of information. Nodes generally have attributes which store data. In a 3D graphics program, nodes are connected together to form a network called a scene graph. For example, in Maya, an object such as a Sphere is made of three nodes, each storing a different type of data: a primitive node, a shape node, and a transform node.

    Noob: Probably you if you are reading this.

    Normal (Surface Normal): A three-dimensional vector which is perpendicular to a surface. Central to many computer graphics calculations.

    Normal Mapping: Normal Mapping is similar to Bump Mapping, but instead of the image being a greyscale heightmap, the colours define in which direction the normal should be shifted, the 3 colour channels being mapped to the 3 directions X, Y and Z. This allows more detail and control over the effect.

    Null: Think of them as a transparent box to put things that has its own center-point and point of rotation. so while you can use a Null to consolidate items into groups which can be moved together, one of the most useful features is the fact that the null has a different center-point. So say you want something to rotate around a specific spot, create a null and move it so it's center-point is in the spot you want to rotate your object or figure around, than drop your object or figure into the null and you have a new pivot point for the object.(Quoting WillDupre in response to a question about this subject)
    Null: A point within a 3D scene that does not render out, but which is used as a reference for other objects.

    NVIATWAS: Naked Vicki in a Temple With a Sword

    NURBS: 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 three- dimensional 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.

    Nybble: Sometimes spelled "nibble," is a set of four bits.


    Object: A generic term describing any item that can be inserted into and manipulated within a 3D scene. Models, lights, particle emitters and cameras are all objects.

    OBJ: Wavefront Object file format or .obj.

    OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer): A company that assembles components made by other manufacturers and sells the computers under its own name.

    OpenAL: Short for Open Audio Library. Originally developed by Loki Software, then later used by NVIDIA, it was further developed by Creative Technology, and is now developed by Creative Technology with support from Apple, Blue Ripple Sound, and free software/open source volunteer programmers. OpenAL is a programming API and driver specification to allow stereo and surround-sound to be provided without programmers needing to know how the local hardware works in detail. The OpenAL driver can be queried about the capabilities of the sound hardware and the software can then drive it in mono, stereo or full 3d-surround sound by passing commands to the OpenAL driver.-(contributed by Fire Angel)

    OpenCL: Short for Open Computation Language. Invented by Apple and placed in the hands of the non-profit Khronos group (which is open for membership to any company). Open CL allows programmers to write software which can use whatever calculation hardware a computer has without having to understand the individual hardware. For example OpenCL rendering software can be written to use OpenCL enquiries to find out how many processors are available, and it can then use them all for rendering by passing commands to the OpenCL driver for that computer. A good OpenCL driver can even extend itself if new hardware is fitted, so on modern graphics cards some of the many graphics cores can be used to do calculations instead, if the card manufacturer has provided a suitable OpenCL driver. -(contributed by Fire Angel)

    OpenGL: 1-An option used to enable hardware acceleration for fast document window updates.
    2- Short for Open Graphics Library. OpenGL was invented so that programmers writing graphics applications did not have to write code for each graphics card manufacturer, which they did before OpenGL came in. It also means that it is easier to port graphics applications from one operating system to another, because the graphics driver code doesn't need to change. The capabilities of the graphics card can be found in software by passing a query to the OpenGL driver, and the screen can then be driven using commands passed to the OpenGL driver. Invented by Silicon Graphics originally it is now managed by the non-profit Khronos group (which is open for membership to any company). -(contributed by Fire Angel)

    Open Source: With open-source software, the original programming "blueprints," or source code, of a program are available to the public for free so that anyone can see and modify it. The most notable example of open-source software is the Linux operating system. The philosophy behind the open-source movement is that letting as many programmers as possible contribute their creativity will ultimately produce the highest quality software.

    Orthographic Projection: A flat, 2D view of a 3D object or scene. Technical drawings, blueprints and floor plans are examples of orthographic projections. In 3D programs, orthographic views such as Front, Top, and Side are common. Orthographic views are always aligned with the axes of the world Cartesian coordinate system. They are necessary because 3D perspective views always introduce visual distortions of object size, placement and/or distance.
    An ortho view is unlike a perspective view, because an ortho view shows no indication of distance or depth. In a perspective view, an object is displayed smaller as it moves away from the viewer. Parallel lines appear to converge at a vanishing point. Simulated rays of light from the 3D scene, called lines of projection, all converge at the virtual camera lens.
    In an ortho view, the size of an object in the view does not depend on its distance. Two objects of the same size are drawn the same size on the screen, no matter how far away they are. Parallel lines remain parallel, and do not converge. The lines of projection are at right angles to the screen.

  • DAZ_bfurnerDAZ_bfurner Posts: 62
    edited December 1969



    P2P: Peer to peer.

    PA: Published Artist.

    Paint Deform: This is a method of "painting" on a mesh to push and pull faces and vertices along their normals. Several packages have full-blown sculpt modeling interfaces, and this functionality falls under that heading.

    Pan: A camera movement in which the camera turns side to side.

    Pantone (Pantone Matching System or PMS): A standard palette of exactly defined color hues. Used in a sentence: "I think my client has PMS because they are so fussy."

    Parabola: A plane curve generated by a point moving so that it's distance from a fixed second point is equal to it's distance from a fixed line.

    Parasolid: 3D modeling kernel (technology) used in some CAD applications. Developed by the UGS company. Uses a native file format XT.

    Parent: See Hierarchy. Also means tired and broke.

    Particle System: A type of procedural animation that reproduces the appearance of fuzzy phenomena such as clouds or fire. Particle systems may also be employed to animate many objects in a scene, such as a flock of birds.

    Patch: A deformable parametric surface, useful for creating curved objects. It can be based on Bezier or NURBS mathematics. The curvature is controlled by the position of control vertices.

    PC: A Mac's Evil,less pretentious twin.

    Perspective: Representation of a scene in which parallel lines are depicted as converging, in order to give the illusion of depth and distance. Like an orthographic view, a perspective view is a projection of a 3D scene onto a 2D screen. However, in a perspective view, the lines of projection converge on a virtual camera, which is the simulated point of view.

    Phong shading: The Phong shading term is used indiscriminately to describe both an illumination model and an interpolation method in 3D computer graphics. Phong reflection is a local illumination model and can produce a certain degree of realism in three-dimensional objects by combining three elements - diffuse, specular and ambient for each considered point on a surface. It works like Gouraud shading but requires more computer horsepower and yields better results. The method is named after its inventor, Phong Biu-Tuong, who developed it in 1975.

    Photon mapping: 1- A global illumination algorithm based on ray tracing used to realistically simulate the interaction of light with different objects. Specifically, it is capable of simulating the refraction of light through a transparent substance, such as glass or water, diffuse interreflections between illuminated objects, and some of the effects caused by particulate matter such as smoke or water vapor.
    2- Photon mapping is a render method that solves the global illumination
    problem in two passes. In the first pass, photons are shot from the light
    sources and stored in the computer memory. Afterwards, in the raytracing step, the rays shot from the camera “collect” the photons and estimate the perceived brightness.

    Pivot Point: The center of an object’s transforms, and the center of its local coordinate system. An object moves, rotates, and scales relative to the location and orientation of its pivot point. Also known as "anchor point" in some computer applications.

    Pixel (PIcture ELement): The smallest displayable point. Number of horizontal pixels and vertical pixels defines a device's resolution (e.g. a display).

    Pixelation: Pixelation occurs when a monitor doesn't have enough video memory to enable it to render graphics properly. The result is that you can see individual pixels: the graphics have jaggy edges.

    Pixel Shader: A real-time shader application. A graphics processing function that calculates effects on a per-pixel basis. Pixel shaders are used to compute properties which, most of the time, are recognized as pixel colors.

    Plane: A flat or level surface. Also something you ride on that flies.

    Plugin: A small piece of third-party software that is loaded into a 3D application in order to extend its functionality. Plugins commonly perform such specialist tasks as file conversion or data export, texture generation, and physics or fluid simulation. There are thousands of plugins currently available on the Internet, both commercially and as free downloads.

    PNG: Stands for "Portable Network Graphic. PNG files are lossless, meaning they don't lose any detail when they are compressed.

    Point: A one-dimensional point in co- ordinate space. Points can be linked up to form polygons, used as control vertices for NURBS curves, or employed as nulls to control lights or cameras, amongst other functions.

    Polygon: A geometry element formed by connecting three or more points. A triangle, or three-point polygon, is the simplest form of polygonal geometry. Polygonal modelling is a fast, intuitive method of creating 3D objects, but does not easily generate smooth curved surfaces.

    Polygon mesh: A surface comprised of polygons, each derived from irregularly spaced points.

    Poser: Is a 3D CGI rendering and animation software program optimized for models that depict the human figure in three-dimensional form, mostly used to pose and animate the figures in a similar way as a mannequin. The program has become very popular due to its ease of use, which allows beginners to produce basic animations and digital images, and the extensive availability of third-party digital models. Poser was created by artist and programmer Larry Weinberg, as a software replacement for artist's mannequins. Versions 1.0 and 2.0 were published by Fractal Design; in 1997, Fractal Design was acquired by MetaCreations. In 1999, MetaCreations sold Poser to egi.sys AG, which established the subsidiary Curious Labs, with Larry Weinberg as CEO, to handle Poser development and publication. Curious Labs and Poser were sold to the publisher e frontier, in 2003. On 15 November 2007, Smith Micro Software announced the purchase of Poser.

    POV: Point Of Veiw. The user's view of the model.

    Primitive: A simple three-dimensional form used as the basis for constructive solid geometry modelling techniques. Typical primitives include the plane, the cube, the sphere, the cone and the torus.

    Procedural: An algorithm which generates data within the 3D graphic application. For example, procedural 3D textures are patterns which do not require mapping coordinates. Procedural animation generates motion, and may not involve keyframes at all. Procedural modeling employs simple rules to generate complex structures such as plants. Maya's Paint Effects is a superb example of a tool for procedural modeling and animation.

    Procedural Texture: A texture map that is generated by a mathematical function, rather than a real-world bitmap image projected over the surface of an object.

    Prop: Any external object added to the scene to enhance the final image. Props may include scenery,figure accessories,clothes,hair and rubber chickens.

    Ptex(Per-Face Texturing): A texturing which stores a separate texture for each face of a model in a single file, with a per-face adjacency map used to achieve seamless filtering between faces. Developed by Walt Disney Animation Studios, Ptex offers an alternative to previous methods where either multiple UV maps or seamless texture tiles would be used.

    Public domain software: Software that is not under copyright, so it can be used free of charge.

    Python: An interpreted,object oriented scripting language that includes text commands for defining certain actions. Also a large constricting snake or the last name of some very funny guy named Monty who has a flying circus.


    Quad: A face that is made of four vertices.

    Quadratic texture mapping: This technique, used in 3D video cards based on Nvidia graphics chips, speeds up texture mapping and redrawing by reducing the amount of work required. Nvidia chips use fewer polygons to render an acceptable-looking rounded object. Filling the screen, therefore, takes less time and CPU horsepower than it would using another rendering chip.


    Radiosity: 1- A global illumination algorithm. A technique used to calculate indirect light to illuminate a scene. It uses radiative transfer theory.
    2-Radiosity is a more accurate but also more process-intensive technique than raytracing, that calculates patterns of light and shadow for rendering graphics images from three-dimensional models.

    Radiance: Radiance and spectral radiance are radiometric measures that describe the amount of light that passes through or is emitted from a particular area, and falls within a given solid angle in a specified direction.
    They are used to characterize both emission from diffuse sources and
    reflection from diffuse surfaces.

    RAL: Standardized palette of exact color hues (German standard).

    Rapid Prototyping (RP): Any one of several methods such as Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Stereolithography (SL), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Additive Manufacturing (AM), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM). Although more of a CAD term,some forms of RP are starting to cross the line into ordinary 3D model making by way of companies that will take your 3D model designs (they must be your own design) and transform them into a physical (real world) model. The most affordable types of RP models are made by 3D Printing, which can be SLS,FDM or "inkjet printing system"(which is not actually an inkjet, but a binder).

    Ray Dream Studio: Was a low-end 3D modeling software application. Initially developed by Ray Dream, Inc. in 1989-1991 for the Macintosh, it was acquired and upgraded over the course of mergers with Fractal Design and MetaCreations. Ray Dream was less expensive than most other offerings, renowned for its ease of use, and boasted an impressive feature set including a sophisticated shader editor.The software was then merged with its higher-end stepsister, Infini-D, to form Carrara, lending many user interface elements and gaining a better rendering engine.

    Ray tracing: 1- A specific rendering algorithmic approach technique which follows rays from the eyepoint outward, rather than originating at the light sources. It produces results similar to ray casting or scanline rendering, but facilitates more advanced optical effects, such as accurate simulations of reflections and refraction.
    2-Raytracing works by tracing the path taken by a ray of light through the scene, and calculating reflection, refraction, or absorption of the ray whenever it intersects an object in the world.

    Readme: A readme file, often named "READ ME" to get the user's attention, is a text file containing useful information about a software program (or file). It often accompanies the program's installer or is installed with the program. A typical readme file contains instructions on how to install the program, how to use the basic functions of the program, and what the program does. Despite being named Readme, these documents have often been known to be ignored, although at times that may be due to the clever misplacement (possibly caused by WTHDIHTRS, or Where The Hell Did I Hide The Readme Syndrome) by their creators or the comical oversight of only naming the document "Readme" (as opposed to "Readme-[file name] as it should be) thus causing the document to overwrite the previous document named "Readme".

    ReadmeOrDie: A slightly more important version of a readme file.

    Reflection: Specular reflection is the mirror-like reflection of light from a surface. Specular reflection is accomplished in a ray trace renderer by following a ray from the eye to the mirror and then calculating where it bounces from, and continuing the process until no surface is found, or a non-reflective surface is found. Specular reflection on a shiny surface like tile, or a wood floor can add to the photorealistic effects of a 3D rendering.

    Reflection Map: An environment map used to simulate real-world reflection effects on the surface of a 3D object. Reflection maps render more quickly than methods that generate true surface reflections, such as raytracing.

    Refraction: Refraction in geometric optics is the change in direction of a wave due to a change in velocity. It happens when waves travel from a medium with a given refractive index to a medium with another. At the boundary between the media the wave changes direction; its wavelength increases or decreases but frequency remains constant. For example, a light ray will refract as it enters and leaves glass.

    Refresh rate: The maximum number of times per second that a CRT monitor can redraw an image. The refresh rate, expressed in hertz (Hz), is determined by the computer's video card. The higher the refresh rate, the easier the monitor is to view; rates lower than 75Hz can produce irritating screen flicker.

    Rendering: The process of converting the 3D data stored in a software package into the two-dimensional image ‘seen’ by the camera within the scene. Rendering brings together the scene geometry, Z-depth, surface properties, lighting set-up and rendering method to create a finished frame. Rendering comes in two forms: Display or Hardware rendering, used to display the scene on-screen in the software package’s viewports; and the more processor- intensive Final-quality or Software rendering, which generates an image for output, and takes account of properties that Display rendering overlooks, such as shadows, reflections and post-process effects.

    Rigging: The process of preparing a character model for animation, including setting up an underlying skeleton, complete with constraints, controllers and kinematic systems, and linking it to the mesh of the character model.

    ROFLMAO: Short for "Rolling On Floor Laughing My Ass Off". One of the first signs of madness.

    ROFTTPOTF: Short for "Rolling On Floor Trying To Put Out The Flames". Usually followed by SHIOF- "Send Help I'm On Fire".

    Root node: The top level material node.

    Runtime: When a program is running, or executing, it is said to be in runtime. It is also a Folder used to store all your wonderful models purchased at DAZ. For more on "Runtime" folders see "A Brief explanation of Runtime folder structure" at the bottom of this article.

  • DAZ_bfurnerDAZ_bfurner Posts: 62
    edited December 1969



    Save Buddles
    : A misprint in a DAZ promo email (for "save bundles") that was turned into a righteously angry freedom campaign by the combined sarcasm of DAZ forumites (see "forumites").-(contributed by AJ Savill)

    Scalar: A magnitude without direction, unlike a vector.
    Also a quantity used to multiply vectors in the context of vector spaces. -(contributed by fixmypcmike and Khory_D)

    Scanline Rendering: Rendering technique, or family of algorithms, that renders a scene one row of pixels (or scanline) at a time. It works on a row-by-row basis rather than a polygon-by-polygon or pixel-by-pixel basis.

    Second Skin: 1- Usually a secondary texture layer or modification of the material zones of a figure done to produce the impression of "skin tight" clothing. Through proper use of transparency and displacement maps one can achieve a very convincing effect. Poor planning may just result in the figure looking as though they had a really big, poorly chosen tattoo.
    2- That layer of funk which builds up on individuals who are opposed to proper bathing and reasonable personal hygiene. In some cases it has been known to build up to several layers/inches deep at which point it may detach (referred to as "Funk Budding") in large chunks, which will then scurry away and form new funk colonies. In some cases these colonies will morph themselves into a duplicate of the individual they budded from (also known as "Funk Buddies") and attempt to steal their identity. Up to 2% of identity theft cases are a result of second skin funk budding.

    Seamless Tile: A texturing method in which an image(such as a JPEG of a rusty metal surface)which has been edited (using image editing software such as GIMP or Photoshop), so as to produce a version of the image where if one where to take a copy of it and place it alongside of another copy, one would not be able to tell where one(tile) began and the other ended. One simple example of this would be using an image of a small section of a brick wall to "tile" an entire brick structure. Often used in video games this process offers a quicker method of texturing a simple model.

    Shade: is a 3D modeling, rendering and animation software program developed by E Frontier Japan and published by Mirye Software.Shade was first published in Japan in the late 1980s, making it one of the oldest 3D applications on Mac OS and Windows. E Frontier, a Japanese software company acquired Shade from its previous owner ExpressionTools in the late 1990s. E Frontier later acquired Curious Labs, the developer of Poser and marketed Shade through a subsidiary E Frontier America. E Frontier America sold its directly owned assets to Smith Micro.

    Shader: A computer program used to determine the final surface properties of an object or image. This often includes arbitrarily complex descriptions of light absorption, diffusion, texture mapping, reflection, refraction, shadowing, surface displacement and post-processing effects. In real-time shading languages there are two different applications of shaders: vertex shaders and pixel shaders.

    Shading ("Shader" or "shading algorithm"): The mathematical process of calculating how a model’s surfaces react to light. A variety of alternative algorithms can be used for the task, including Phong, Lambert, and Blinn shading models. Shaders are often built up as node-based shading trees, with each node controlling a specific aspect of the process.
    A high-level rendering algorithm that determines how a 3D model responds to simulated light. Sometimes called a “shader.” Strictly speaking, a shader or shading algorithm is a piece of computer code that is part of a material definition. For example, the Blinn shading algorithm generically describes how highlights appear on surfaces. However, many 3D graphic artists use the term “shader” to refer to an entire material definition, including all of its component parts such as bitmaps.

    Shader Window: (in Poser) an interface found in the material room where new custom materials can be created.

    Shareware: Copyrighted software that is available on a free trial basis. After the trial period, users are expected to register the program and pay a fee to the developer. To enforce this, some programs are partially disabled, stop working after a set period of time, or contain "nag screens" that pop up frequently to encourage users to register. Registered users get a full-featured version of the program, documentation, or free updates. Shareware is available from several sources, including Web sites, centralized archives on the Internet, and local bulletin board systems. Shareware that doesn't involve a fee is called freeware. Software that is free of copyright, as well as free to users, is called public domain software.

    Silo: A polygon/subdivision surfaces 3D modeling application created by Nevercenter. It has a focus on quick editing, a customizable interface , and a flexible workflow.

    SketchUp: is a 3D modeling program marketed by Google and designed for architectural, civil, and mechanical engineers as well as filmmakers, game developers, and related professions.

    Smart object: (in Poser) An object or prop that is parented to another object in the scene. Often referred to as a "Smart prop"as well.

    Smoothing: A rendering algorithm which creates smooth-looking surfaces from mesh objects. Without smoothing, all polygonal objects would have a faceted appearance. Also known as edge smoothing or face smoothing. Smoothing is accomplished through the rotation of vertex normals.

    Specular: Specular refers to the perfect, mirror-like reflection of light (or sometimes other kinds of wave) from a surface, in which light from a single incoming direction (a ray) is reflected into a single outgoing direction. Such behavior is described by the law of reflection, which states that the direction of incoming light (the incident ray), and the direction of outgoing light reflected (the reflected ray) make the same angle with respect to the surface normal, thus the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection; this is commonly stated as θi = θr. This is in contrast to diffuse reflection, where incoming light is reflected in a broad range of directions. The most familiar example of the distinction between specular and diffuse reflection would be glossy and matte paints. While both exhibit a combination of specular and diffuse reflection, matte paints have a higher proportion of diffuse reflection and glossy paints have a greater proportion of specular reflection. Very highly polished surfaces, such as high quality mirrors, can exhibit almost perfect specular reflection.

    Specularity: A surface property of an object that determines the way in which highlights appear on that surface.

    Spline: Piecewise parametric polynomial curve. Splines are a representation of curves that are often used to approximate complex shapes through curve fitting and interactive curve design.

    Spotlight: Spotlight is a light with both location and direction. A spotlight sends out a cone of light defined by the spotlight angle, and illuminates only objects within that cone. Spotlights also have attenuation, as well as a parameter that controls whether the spot of light is sharply defined or has smooth edges. These 4 types of lights are listed in order of computational complexity; the more lights you have the more work the computer has to do.

    SreeD: In Poser an option used to enable software rendering that,although slower than the OpenGL option,produces higher quality previews.

    STUDIOSTART: A cryptic Couponic offer of "97% off one of seven bundles - Not combinable with other offers"... legend has it this was the original riddle posed by the Sphinx. It is said that when Oedipus correctly named the 7 bundles the Sphinx committed suicide, throwing herself from a high rock. Brave Oedipus rescued the Bundles from the dying Sphinx and hid them amongst other bundles here:
    It is believed 5 of the original 7 were: Millennium Horse Bundle, Dinosaur Bundle, Fantasy Creature Bundle,Modern Apartment Bundle and Sci Fi Sets and Vehicles. It is not clear as to what the other two are or whether there are now more....

    Subdividing: Is used to add more geometry to a mesh. It creates new vertices on subdivided edges, new edges between subdivisions and new faces based on new edges. If new edges cross a new vertex is created on their crossing point.

    Subdivision: Subdivision Surface is a tool or command which subdivides your model.
    A common subdivision algorithm smooths out curves, and allows you to make complicated smooth surfaces (eg people, plants, etc) with very few faces.

    Sub Surface Scattering (SSS): Sub Surface Scattering is a mechanism of light transport in which light penetrates the surface of a translucent object, is scattered by interacting with the material, and exits the surface at a different point. All non-metallic materials are translucent to some degree. In particular, materials such as marble, skin, and milk are extremely difficult to simulate realistically without taking subsurface scattering into account.
    2-The effect of light penetrating a surface and illuminating the inner layers. Very important to consider when simulating realistic skin and most other organic materials.

    Subdivision Surface: Also known as Sub-Ds, subdivision surfaces are surfaces created using a technique midway between polygon and NURBS modelling. They consist of an underlying polygonal base mesh, which is automatically subdivided by the software to create a smoothed final form. Sub-Ds combine much of the power of NURBS surfaces with the intuitive characteristics and ease of use of polygonal modelling tools.

    Supersampling: An antialiasing algorithm which internally renders at high resolution, then averages pixel values for a lower resolution output. Significantly improves some textures at the expense of longer render times. Also known as oversampling.

    Surface of Revolution: A modeling technique which creates radially symmetrical 3D objects by revolving a spline around an axis. Commonly employed to create objects such as bottles. Also known as a lathe.


    Tessellation: The process of converting geometry into a set of polygons and accompanying information such as color, translucency, texture, etc.

    Texture mapping: The process of assigning (mapping) an image (texture) to a 3D surface. This allows a complicated colouring of the surface without requiring additional polygons to represent minute details.

    Texel (texture element): Similar to a pixel, which is the base unit of a graphic, a texel is the base unit of the textured portion of a graphic. Computer graphics use a technique called texture mapping to apply a 2D surface to a 3D object. Texels are the elements that make up the texture map.

    Texel Density: -(contributed by Valendar) Texel refers to one pixel on a texture map.
    The amount of a 3D object's surface actually covered by one pixel of a texture map of a given dimension, often in proportion to the rest of the scene. An object whose texture map is 1024x1024 has one fourth the texel density of the same object with a texture map at 2048x2048 (four times the number of pixels in the map). A poorly mapped object with lots of white, empty space will have a much lower texel density than a more properly mapped object, assuming same dimensions on the textures. And an elephant with a 1024x1024 texture map will have a much lower texel density than a mouse with a 1024x1024 texture map, assuming both mouse and elephant are in proportion to each other. If two objects in a scene have radically different texel densities, the one with the lower density can look pretty bad, even if it would look decent on its own.

    Alternatively, this can also be used to refer to the size of the texture density combined with the final render size. As an example, one notorious example in the game industry was a texture sheet turned in for an arrow in one unnamed video game. For an object that would have been on-screen less than a few frames at a time, and little more than three to five pixels wide at the largest, the artist turned in a 2048x2048 highly detailed texture map. By comparison, most of the character models in that game had only either a 256x256 or a 512x512 map. A map far too large for what would be displayed on the screen (like the arrow, above) wastes considerable resources, while a map too small (trying to use, say, 256x256 maps on V4 for a face closeup) can result in horrible quality and blurred details.-(contributed by Valendar)

    The Millennium Cube: An April Fools day forum notification: "Ultimate Morphing Hi-Res Millennium Cube ps_af001", released into the wilds of DAZdom in 2003, AFAIK, followed up by an expansion pack
    in '04.-(contributed by ajsavill)

    Tiling: The process of duplicating a texture across the surface of an object. Tiling textures must be created so that the edge of one aligns perfectly with that of its neighbour, otherwise the result is a series of ugly seams. High- frequency textures are those in which patterns repeat at short intervals over an object’s surface; low-frequency textures are those in which the intervals are larger.

    Tri: A face (polygon) made of Three edges.

    Triangulated Irregular Network: A surface comprised of triangles, each derived from irregularly spaced points.

    TrueSpace: (styled as trueSpace) is a freeware 3D computer graphics and animation software developed by Caligari Corporation, bought-out by Microsoft. As of May 2009, it has been officially discontinued, but with some 'unofficial support' up to February 2010, at least.

    Tone mapping: A technique used to approximate the appearance of high dynamic range images in media with a more limited dynamic range. Print-outs, CRT or LCD monitors, and projectors all have a very limited dynamic range.
    Essentially, tone mapping addresses the problem of strong contrast reduction from the scene values (radiance) to the displayable range while preserving the image details and color appearance important to appreciate the original scene content.

    Toast: Euphemism for male reproductive organs. Not everyone knows that this word inspired the very lovely Channing to create a freebie "toast" prop,
    which is, confusingly, actually a piece of toast.-(contributed by ajsavill)
    Probable origin:Blame Ikyoto (that's always a good place to start anyway). He made a comment about Michael 4 including a toaster when people were discussing what was going to be included with the figure and some people extrapolated to the idea of toast = genitals.-(contributed by Richard Haseltine)

    Translucent: Translucent materials allow light to pass through them only diffusely,they cannot be seen through; contrary to popular belief, translucency does not include see-through colored objects.

    Transform: The mathematical reassignment of points to new locations. It's the abbreviated form of transformation. The three transforms are position (aka translation), rotation, and scale. These transforms control the location and orientation of objects in 3D graphics applications.

    Triangulation: The process of converting polygons with more than three points into groups of triangles for rendering purposes.

    Trimangulated: The result of a mesh being mangled upon export or import by evil vertice gnomes and bad CGI mojo. Used in a sentence- Oh GDFS! My model got trimangulated!! I hate (insert application name)!!!

    Trilinear Texture Filtering: Like its less sophisticated cousin, bilinear texture filtering, trilinear filtering is a complex technique used by 3D graphics cards to make movement through rendered landscapes realistic even in fast-moving games.


    UCS: User Coordinate System.

    Unflatable (var. unflateable) Pony: A dummy product put up briefly by DAZ staffers in July 08 for testing new web sales features. It was priced at a very reasonable $1000 (Platinium Club: $490). This was seemingly followed by an upgrade, Unflatable Pony II,The cause of much merriment and a number of threads demanding the unflatable creature's release, add-on requests and some really rather good jokes.
    -(contributed by ajsavill)

    UPS: "Uninterruptible Power Supply." or "United Parcel Service". Take your pick.

    URL: "Uniform Resource Locator."

    UV Mapping: This refers to the process of re-parameterize a 3D object with dimensions X, Y and Z into a 2D plane with coordinates U and V. Most texturing requires this step because it tells the program HOW to apply a 2D image map onto a 3D object.

    UV Texture Co-ordinates: The co-ordinate system used for assigning textures to polygonal models. Since UV co-ordinate space is two-dimensional, one of several projection methods must be used to ‘unwrap’ the UVs from the model and lay them flat on a plane. Once unwrapped, the UV map may be screengrabbed and exported to a paint package for texture painting.

  • DAZ_bfurnerDAZ_bfurner Posts: 62
    edited December 1969



    Vector Graphics: A technique used by computer-aided design (CAD) programs and drawing applications such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw to produce graphics by using geometric formulas. Vector graphics have advantages over bitmaps: the images do not become pixellated, they scale up easily, and multiple overlapping elements within the graphic can be manipulated independently.

    Vertex: See-"Points". In computer graphics, objects are often represented as triangulated polyhedra in which the vertices are associated not only with three spatial coordinates but also with other graphical information necessary to render the object correctly, such as colors, reflectance properties, textures, and surface normals; these properties are used in rendering by a vertex shader, part of the vertex pipeline.... Whaaat?

    Vertex Normal: Lines pointing out from each vertex of a 3D model. The orientation of vertex normals determines how much light the surrounding surface can recieve. If a vertex normal is pointing toward a light source, then the surface will be illuminated. If a vertex normal is pointing away from a light source, the surface will recieve less illumination. A vertex generally has several normals, one for each face shared by the vertex. If four faces meet at a vertex, then the vertex will have four normals. Vertex normals are important in edge smoothing. If all normals on a vertex are pointing in the same direction, the renderer will smooth the surface. If normals on a vertex are pointing in different directions, the renderer will not smooth the surface, resulting in a faceted appearance.

    Vertex Shader: A real-time shader application. A graphics processing function used to add special effects to objects in a 3D environment by performing mathematical operations on the objects' vertex data. Vertex shaders are applied for each vertex and run on a programmable vertex processor.

    Virtual Memory: A method of simulating computer memory. A virtual memory manager (usually a function of the operating system) maps chunks of data and program code to a storage area (the swap file) on the hard disk, allowing programs to run as if there were more RAM available than is the case.

    Volumetrics: Volumetric lights are lights whose illumination can be observed throughout a volume of space, rather than simply where the light strikes a surface. In similar fashion, volumetric textures are textures applied throughout a volume of space, rather than to a surface.

    Voxel: From ”volume element”. A cubic unit of 3D volume defined at a size appropriate to the required resolution, sometimes described as the 3D equivalent of a pixel.

    VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language): Description language for 3D models, scenes and animations.

    Vue: Is a 3D scenery generator software package. It is used for the creation, animation, and rendering of natural 3D environments.


    Wacro: (in Poser) A custom PoserPython script used within the Shader window to create new material types.

    WCS: World Coordinate System.

    Weights: The strength of influence on a particular vertex of an assigned deformer, such as a bone.

    Weight Mapping: "Weight" in this case refers to how strongly any given vertex on the mesh is affected by the bending of the joint. At the moment Poser rigging sets weights by the position of angled lines (four of them - anything between the static lines stays put, anything between the dynamic lines moves, and anything between a dynamic and static line moves in proportion to how close it is to which line), spheres (like the lines, anything inside the dynamic sphere moves completely, anything inside the static sphere but not the dynamic sphere moves somewhat depending on relative position, and anything outside both spheres stays put) and groups (the mesh belonging to the bone or to the bone's parent bone is affected by the lines and spheres, anything that's a child bone of the bone moves completely and everything else stays put). Weight mapping is much simpler and more flexible than that - the amount each vertex moves is set as a number, not by its position in space (assigning a number to a vertex is the "mapping" part) and any bone can affect any part of the mesh, which means webbed hands would become much more practical and skirts could be affected by any of the leg bones).
    -Based (copy/paste) on an answer given By Richard Haseltine.

    Weight Painting: A function or mode in a modeling program by which one assigns weight values or paints colors associated with certain weight values onto a mesh surface. These values determine how moving or manipulating certain vertices will affect their neighbors. How this is accomplished, the values, and uses for this method vary from program to program that utilize it. The term "weight" is more akin to "value of influence" than to the term for gravitational attraction.

    Weld: In Poser an import option used to combine vertices with the same coordinates together.

    Wings 3D: is a free, open source, subdivision modeler inspired by Nendo and Mirai from Izware. Wings 3D is named after the winged-edge data structure it uses internally to store coordinate and adjacency data, and is commonly referred to by its users simply as Wings.

    Wireframe: A shading method in which a simple grid of lines is used to represent the basic contours of the underlying model. For many 3D artists, this is a favored mode to work in, since it permits them to see faces and surfaces that would otherwise be hidden by overlying geometry.

    Wireless: You pulled too hard on it and it now is "wireless".

    Wombat: A medium sized Australian marsupial known for their amazing computer skills.

    wrl (virtual WoRLd): A file in the VRML format


    X-Axis: A former axis, bereft of life, if it were not nailed to the perch it would be pushing up daisies... Also one of the three coordinate axis of the Cartesian coordinate system.

    XML: Stands for "Extensible Markup Language." XML is used to define documents with a standard format that can be read by any XML-compatible application.

  • DAZ_bfurnerDAZ_bfurner Posts: 62
    edited December 1969



    YafRay (Yet Another Free Raytracer)
    : is an open source ray tracing program that uses an XML scene description language. It has been integrated into, and is often used to render scenes made in, the 3D modelling software Blender.

    Y-axis: Why not? Just because it is one of the three coordinate axis of the Cartesian coordinate system? Don't worry nobody will notice.

    Yottabyte: A yottabyte is 2 to the 80th power, or 1,208,925,819,614,629,174,706,176 bytes. Used in a sentence: "I need a 800 Yottabyte hard drive to store my 900 runtimes".

    Yoda: Either an incredibly powerful Jedi master or Norimoto Yoda a professional GO player from Japan (also a mispronunciation of a river in Osaka Prefecture in Japan)... also an attempt to bulk up the Y section.


    Z-Axis: "The Axis" said in a bad French accent... also one of the three coordinate axis of the Cartesian coordinate system.

    ZBrush: A digital sculpting tool that combines 3D/2.5D modeling, texturing and painting. It uses a proprietary "pixol" technology which stores lighting, material, color, and depth information for all objects on the screen. The main difference between ZBrush and more traditional modeling packages is that it is more akin to sculpting.

    Z-buffer: An area of memory holding the depth (Z) values of each surface in a 3D scene represented at each pixel location at the rendered image.
    Z-buffering is the management of image depth coordinates in 3D graphics, usually done in hardware, sometimes in software. It is one solution to the visibility problem, which is the problem of deciding which elements of a rendered scene are visible, and which are hidden. Z-buffering is also known as depth buffering.

    Z-depth:The distance a particular point or surface lies inside a scene. Z-depth information is used to calculate where a light casts shadows, and also to calculate which surfaces are visible to the camera during rendering, and which are obscured by nearer geometry.

    Z-fighting: A phenomenon in CGI that occurs when two or more primitives have similar values in the z-buffer. It is particularly prevalent with coplanar polygons, where two faces essentially occupy the same coordinate space, with neither actually being in front. Such affected pixels are rendered with fragments from one polygon or the other randomly, in a manner determined by the precision of the z-buffer. The effect is seen as a flickering,rasterization of the two polygons "fighting" to show up on screen. One of the simplest way to minimize this effect is to try and separate the two objects slightly if possible (actually the simplest way is to just close your eyes, but that really does not help your render).

    ZIP (as in ZIP file): An open standard for compression and decompression, ZIP was developed by Phil Katz for his DOS-based program PKZip. It is now widely used on Windows-based programs such as WinZip. The file extension given to ZIP files is .zip.

    Zygote Media Group: Is the developer of computer-generated 3D graphics software. The company was formed in 1994, with an initial emphasis on models for use in media productions. The company has since focused on specializing in enhanced visualization of the human anatomy, along with creating teaching aids for science.
    In 2000, the commercial and hobbyist portion of Zygote was spun off as Digital Art Zone.

  • DAZ_bfurnerDAZ_bfurner Posts: 62
    edited May 2019


    2D: (computer graphics) A blanket term in CGI for images such as photo or drawings.

    3D: Three dimensional, generally used as a blanket term for computer generated graphics, games and art. Lately the term has started has also begun to include stereoscopic CGI leading to confusion in certain circumstances.

    3D Studio: Is the name given to the original modeling, animation and rendering package "3D Studio" which was created for the DOS platform by the Yost Group. After 3D Studio Release 4, the product was rewritten for the Windows NT platform, and re-named "3D Studio MAX." This version was also originally created by the Yost Group. Autodesk purchased the product at the second release mark of the 3D Studio MAX version and internalized development entirely over the next two releases.

    3ds Max: (Formerly 3D Studio MAX), is a modeling, animation and rendering package developed by Autodesk Media and Entertainment.

    3dage: A source of extensive knowledge and tips for all Carrara users,
    interchangeable term with Carrara manual (contributed by: wendyluvscatz)

    4D: Any software using lenticular quadrascopic phase shift (LQPS) technology or advanced neural bus unions (ANBU) to simulate fourth dimensional interaction. Earliest examples include Silcordyne 4D's
    2045 release of "Psych4D!" and "SynMore4D". General uses of 4D include
    games, medical, virtual farming, drafting, engineering and erotic arts. (Edited to note this term will not become relevant until at least Dec. 16 2042 and premature use of this term may alter future history).

    And Other Stuff...


    A Brief (yeah, right) explanation of Runtime folder structure:

    You just bought your first Non-DAZ model (shame on you repent!!) (naa...) or downloaded a LEGAL freebie (NOT some "free" torrent download-those are not legal and you'll end up in Hell for that... actually it is so bad you'll end up in SUPER HELL which is much worse) and it came in a Zip file instead of an installer. Most of these are for Poser and Poser models can be used in DAZ Studio. All you have to do is just "unzip the file and manually put everything its appropriate Runtime folder".

    To paraphrase the great philosopher Arnold Jackson: "Whut you talkin' bout lordvicore?"

    Zip File (Containing 3D model files for - HappyFunTimeKillerRobot)

    When you get the zip you'd open(unzip) it and find a bunch of folders like this:

    HappyFunTimeKillerRobot(or just "Runtime"if the person was too lazy)-inside of that you should find:

    -Runtime(if the first one was not already "Runtime")

    -Readme(a text file you should at least take a peek at because it often contains important info you may need to use the model)

    After Reading the Readme, open Runtime. In it you would probably find:
    -Geometries(not always, it depends on what you purchased, Poses for example,would not need one.)
    -textures(also not always but more likely)

    If you have already installed a bunch of DAZ Studio models it is more than likely that if you were to peek in your runtime folder inside of DAZ Studio you would see that both "Geometries" and "textures" contain folders with the names of the models that were installed by the installers,so inside them you'll probably see both folders with Vendor names and Model names(depends on how someone zipped up their work). If (for example) You had purchased and installed a DAZ model called "StickyToiletSeat" by the Vendor "UncleSalty" who has a bunch of stuff on the market, you might find a folder in(lets say) "Geometries" called "UncleSalty" and if you peeked in there you'd see a folder named "StickyToiletSeat".
    I write too much... Still with me?

    The libraries folder has a bunch of folders in it like(for example):

    The same concept as before applies here,so if you opened up the "character" folder in your "HappyFunTimeKillerRobot" model (which in this imaginary coincidence also happens to be by "UncleSalty") you would find the folder "UncleSalty" and in it "HappyFunTimeKillerRobot"... Now Wait! What if "UncleSalty" was drinking heavily the day She(yeah,I know) put together the model and you do not find "UncleSalty" only "HappyFunTimeKillerRobot"? Impossible! you say,since everyone knows Published Artists(PAs) never drink heavily... Ok, lets just say that was her style of folder structure... sometimes there are inconsistencies in how 3D artists structure their runtime folders(this is especially true when you get freebies or buy from new Vendors outside DAZ), so as long as it was like that when she made it, it should work fine.... okay what was the point in all this?

    You now take all these folders and files and place them in "the appropriate folders" inside of the Runtime folder inside of DAZ Studio's Content folder...

    For Example:
    Open "HappyFunTimeKillerRobot",open "Runtime", open "Geometries",open "UncleSalty" and grab the folder "HappyFunTimeKillerRobot" and drag it into the "UncleSalty" folder (because you already had one when DAZ installed "StickyToiletSeat"-if you never had a "UncleSalty" folder you'd drag "UncleSalty" instead...but in this case you do,cuz it's my imaginary scenario). you would the equivalent for textures and and of the categories within "libraries".

    This is just a long drawn out explanation of Content>Runtime>geometries>UncleSalty>HappyFunTimeKillerRobot.... Which when I was presented with that answer the first time, meant nothing to me... so if you didn't know this already I just saved you a half an hour of you life trying to find out what that all means... you owe me that and someday I will be back to collect....(naa, you keep it)... if you already knew this then you are either fact checking me,really bored or hoping I'll say something stupid like "never put an angry badger in your pants"... good luck on all of that. The badger thing is pure wisdom though... trust me.


    Well, thats That. If you didn't find what you were looking for blame the people who wrote the books articles and other things I got this stuff from.
    If it is stupid and makes no sense blame me.

    Among my sources were:

    and that smelly guy at the park who shouts at squirrels.

    Now you can go look it up for yourself. I wrote this because a while ago I said that we should have some kind of a Glossary of Terms. Apparently We is Me... well, and the people who wrote the articles I got these great definitions from. If there are any regulars here who are reading this and want to add definitions to this FEEL FREE to contribute, there are tons of stuff that I could not find a proper definition to. I'll try and add stuff when I find something good.


    Post edited by Chohole on
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