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3D Visualisation Terminology Explained

18 December 2017

Our Office 10

The world of 3D visualisation and animation is highly technical and the terminology used can be baffling to anyone not working in the industry. From AR to Z-depth, there are so many specialist words and phrases to understand.

Our 3D artists are always happy to explain the science behind our work but for all those project managers, architects, marketers and inquisitive people out there who have come across phrases and always wondered what they meant, we’ve put together a handy, detailed glossary.

Over the coming months we’ll be looing at some of these terms in more detail. In fact, we’ve already explained a few in our past blogs. Take a look at our article on AR v VR which looks at the differences between augmented reality and virtual reality and the role of innovations like Microsoft Hololens, Gear VR and the HTC Vive.

Another specialist area is photomontage imagery, Accurate Visual Representation (AVR) and verified views, which are increasingly being specified for planning applications, particularly in built up areas.

Even well-known terms like rendering have associated words and phrases that often demand more detailed explanation. Do you know your render farm from your backburner, for example? And what exactly is distributed rendering?

Then there’s bump mapping which is used to create an illusion of surface roughness to a 3D model, and normal mapping which adds a high level of detail to a 3D model.

We could go on but instead we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the most commonly used words and phrases along with a brief definition which we hope will act as a useful reference.

Read our Glossary of 3D terms.

If there’s something specific you’d like to know about the technical side of 3D visualisation and animation get in touch. We’re always happy to help.