Jason Pook's Games Design Blog

3DS Max- Technical terms

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The technical language used within my last blog post on texture mapping is something i will have to become versed in. We have been told before that once we know more and more we will be talking in our own language of the work place this will help understanding between our peers when we do group projects it will be very benefitial for future career paths when we finish our degree aswell. That being said i want to research further into some of the techincal language i will be using the sooner i come to terms with it the better for me and my peers.

Here is some terms i have looked up and expanded on where i can:

UV: is Uv mapping in 3d modelling it puts a 2d texture onto the 3d model. You put your texture onto the rendered uv map once unwrapped using a program like photoshop then bring it back into 3ds max and bring it is as a bitmap and apply material to stage selection.

XYZ: This is basically the x axis, y axis and z axis of 3d modelling used to scale, move, rotate your model.

Vertex: is a single point on a model or a point in 3d space.

Polygon: it is a face of a model or a surface, can be made using 3 joined vertexes if you work in tri polys or using 4 vertexs if you work in quads (i work in quads)

Ambient Light: is the general light that illuminates the entire scene. It has a uniform intensity and is uniformly diffuse. It has no discernible source and no discernible direction.

Ambient Occlusion: or AO is a method for emulating the look of true global illumination by using shaders that calculate the extent to which an area is occluded, or prevented from receiving incoming light. Used alone, an AO shader, such as the separate mental ray Ambient/Reflective Occlusion shader, creates a grayscale output that is dark in areas light cannot reach and bright in areas where it can. The practical result is that the AO provides nice “contact shadow” effects and makes small crevices visible.

Anti-aliasing: improves image quality by smoothing such internal image edges. Antialiasing can be either on or off. Turn this off only when you’re rendering test images and want greater speed. Leave it on at all other times.

Axis: uses the xyz, used to scale, move, rotate your model.

Baking: allows you to create texture maps based on an object’s appearance in the rendered scene. The textures are then “baked” into the object: that is, they become part of the object via mapping, and can be used to display the textured object rapidly on Direct3D devices such as graphics display cards or game engine. You can render to textures using the Scanline Renderer or the mental ray renderer.

Bitmap: is a still image produced by a fixed matrix of colored pixels, like a mosaic. You can use bitmaps as textures for materials, as backgrounds to viewports, and as rendered environments.

Boolean: combines two or more objects by performing a logical operation on their geometry. The objects typically overlap, but they don’t have to. The original two objects are the operands and the Boolean object itself is the result of the operation.

Parent->Child precedence: causes joints closest to where a force is applied (the end effector) to move less than joints farther away from the force. This is the opposite of Child->Parent precedence. Parent->Child precedence assigns the highest precedence to the base object and the lowest precedence to the end effector.

Compositing: The Composite map type is made up of other maps, which you layer atop each other using the alpha channel and other methods. For this type of map, you can use overlay images that already contain an alpha channel, or employ built-in masking tools for overlaying only certain parts of a map. (noun) A still image or a motion picture created by overlaying one image or motion picture with another. (verb) To combine still images or motion pictures by laying one over the other. Compositing often makes use of an image’s alpha channel.

Co-ordinates: The Coordinate Display area shows the position of the cursor or the status of a transform and lets you enter new transform values.

The information in these fields varies, depending on what you are doing:
  • When you are simply moving the mouse in a viewport, these fields show the current cursor location in absolute world coordinates.
  • While you are creating an object, these fields also show the current cursor location in absolute world coordinates.
  • While you are transforming an object by dragging in a viewport, these fields always show coordinates relative to the object’s coordinates before the transformation was started.While you are transforming an object, these fields change to spinners, and you can type values directly into them. This is an easy alternative to using the Transform Type-In dialog.
  • While a transform button is active and a single object is selected, but you are not dragging the object, these fields show the absolute coordinates for the current transform. See “Interface,” below.
  • While a transform button is active and multiple objects are selected, these fields are blank.
  • When no object is selected and the cursor is not over the active viewport, these fields are blank.

DOF: Depth of field is a multi-pass effect. You turn it on in the Parameters rollout for cameras. Depth of field simulates a camera’s depth of field by blurring areas of the frame at a distance from the camera’s focal point (that is, its target or target distance).

Extrusion: It moves your polygons in or out dependent on the value you set, i use it alot in modelling and is very useful for modelling in general especially buildings. here are the methods for extruding multiple polygons at once:

  • Group Extrusion, takes place along the average normal of each contiguous group of polygons. If you extrude multiples of such groups, each group moves along its own averaged normal.
  • Local Normal, Extrusion takes place along each selected polygon’s normal.
  • By Polygon, Extrudes each polygon individually.
  •   Extrusion Height, Specifies the amount of the extrusion in units. You can extrude selected polygons outward or inward, depending on whether the value is positive or negative.

HDRI: The Radiance image file format is used for high-dynamic-range images (HDRI). Most cameras don’t have the capability to capture the dynamic range (the gamut of luminances between dark and bright regions) that is present in the real world. However, the range can be recovered by taking a series of pictures of the same subject with different exposure settings, and combining them into one image file.  Also they have an accurate white balance that will bring convincing and colorful lighting into your scene

Material: Found in the material editor, can give many different effects to a model by applying a material, but to have it in a game engine you need to texture it apply the texture into the material editior as a bitmap then apply to model.
Quads: 4 vertexes joint together form a quad which is a quad polygon. used mainly in modelling as when you import your model into a game engine they like to convert models into their own specfic form of tri polys.
Tris: 3 vertexes joing together form a tri which is a try polygon. you can model in tris but game engines like to have there own coversion of tris so its easier to model in quads.
Mesh: is a type of geometric model of a 3d object in which the basic shape is made up of points, or vertices, connected by edges. The renderable surface of the mesh object is made up of faces or polygons that connect the vertices and edges. Examples of mesh objects in 3ds Max are primitives such as Sphere and Teapot, as well as Editable Mesh and Editable Polygon objects.In 3ds Max you can edit a mesh by transforming, adding, and deleting the various elements, or sub-objects: vertices, edges, faces, and polygons. You can also apply various changes with modifiers.
Tiling: The Tile option in the Material Editor is on by default, repeating the image along the U and V directions. You can use the Tiling values to scale the map image. Setting negative Tiling values increases the size of the image. You can also set tiling values in the UVW Map modifier. These settings are in addition to the tiling values you set for the map in the Material Editor. If the map’s base tiling parameter has a value of 2.0 and the UVW Map modifier has a tiling value of 3.0 for the same axis, the net result is 2.0 x 3.0 = 6.0. To avoid confusion about where the tiling is coming from, you may want to set the map’s tiling in its base parameters or with the UVW Map modifier, but not in both locations. The Mirror option is a variation on the Tile option. Tile repeats the image side-by-side, while Mirror flips the image repeatedly.
This is just handful of technical terms but i could add to the list massively with the world of 3ds max being ever expansive, my tutor paul has been doing it for 13 years and still doesnt know all the program which says alot. most of the definitions i got was from 3ds max help an extremely useful website that i will definately be using in the future if i have a enquiry on 3ds max.






Author: Jason Pook 3D

Current student at Hull School of Art and Design studying Games Design.

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