UV Mapping is the process of flattening a 3D model surface so that the artist can accurately apply textures on it. Points on the surface can be represented by U and V coordinates that facilitate the application of textures in the right place. Only after the UV Mapping process is completed correctly, the application of shaders and textures can commence.
Once the UV Mapping process is successfully completed, the artist can begin apply the textures and shaders.
There are different types of textures:
- Diffuse maps: to apply colour to the texture.
- Specular maps: grayscale images used to map out the highlights of an object and the surface shininess.
- Bump or Normal: to add realism to an object surface, simulate bumps and wrinkles.
Rigging is the process of creating a “skeleton” for a 3D model so that it can be subsequently animated. The skeleton has joints that can be constraint to only make specific movements.
Once rigged, a 3D model can be animated. Using key frames in a 3D software, the artist can set determined poses for the model depending on the rig. The software will use the key frames information and rig set up to join the poses and so effectively animating the model.