3D Production Pipeline: UV Mapping, Texturing and Shading, Rigging, & Animation

During the time of making a proper animated project, it is important to know these following things in order to continue through the stages of a 3D production pipeline. UV mapping is when the surface of a 3D model is turned and flattened into a 2D model in order to add or apply texturing. UV is turned into 2D because Luke Jarret said that, “UV is actually the co-ordinates that indicate the axes in 2D space which determines the placement of the images on a 3D object” (Jarret, 2015). The letters U and V show that they are the two geometry co-ordinate axes within the 2D texture space while a 3D model has an X, Y, and Z co-ordinates. Having the knowledge and understanding of UV mapping, it now shows that UV mapping helps in the process of texturing an asset (Jarret 2015).


Image: https://cdn.tutsplus.com/cg/uploads/2013/07/KilaPart03_30.jpg

Once the UV mapping process is done, texturing takes place. Texturing allows you to control the colors, reflectivity, the shininess, and very much other materials that you desire such as shading (Boudon, 2013). The shader helps give the model a proper, decorative look. A shader is really important to the 3D model because when applied rendering, the model’s surface should reflect or interact with the light (Jarrett, 2015). If the shader is not applied, then the model will look bad and the only thing that remains is the data points. Texturing is usually made as 2D images first before it transforms into a 3D model. After doing so, the 3D model will not be plain looking, but it will look a lot more realistic if the colors and other materials are applied properly. If the 3D character’s textures are done, the process continues as you try to rig the character.


Image: http://www.hulub.ch/images/Portfolio/VictrolaModelTexture_L.jpg


Image: https://cdn.tutsplus.com/cg/uploads/2013/07/KilaPart03_30.jpg


Rigging is a process of adding a “skeleton” or “bones” to the character or a 3D model in order to manipulate its movement whether simple or complex (Erin, 2015). If I want my 3D model to move well, I have to make sure that it will look realistic in a believable manner.

MuscleRig.jpgImage:   http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_KNzYqq1qroQ/TLKGxpIM6sI/AAAAAAAAABU/ykIYu6nwtT8/s1600/MuscleRig.jpg

There are two types of animation: 2D and 3D animation. 2D animation is a frame by frame drawn process worked usually on a paper using pencil or digitally drawn using a tablet or mouse. 3D animation is almost similar to 2D animation, but each movement of the character is captured and positioned in a series to make a smooth animation (Erin, 2015). 3D animation is not drawn, but only digitally modeled to be manipulated in movement. 3D animation exist in a X,Y, and Z world where you can check your model that can be viewed 360 degrees in every angle (“What is the difference between 3D and 2D animation?,” 2010). 3D models can be treated like a real physical object with real physical cameras focusing on the model and real physical lights that shine and reflect upon the object. When I animate a character, I have to position the model in every each frame.


Image: https://animschool.com/images/new/program_animation_top.png


  1. Boudon, G. (2013, November 1). How does a 3D production pipeline work. Retrieved October 7, 2016, from Pluralsight, http://blog.digitaltutors.com/understanding-a-3d-production-pipeline-learning-the-basics/#
  2. Erin, S. (2015, October 27). 3D Modelling Blog. Retrieved October 7, 2016, from Blogspot, http://3dstudentblog.blogspot.ae/2015/10/stages-in-3d-production-pipeline.html
  3. Jarret, L. (2015, June 21). 3D production pipeline – UV mapping, Texturing and Shaders, rigging, animation. Retrieved October 7, 2016, from WordPress, https://lukewjarrett.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/3d-production-pipeline-uv-mapping-texturing-and-shaders-rigging-animation/
  4. Ward, A. (2013, July 30). Game character creation series: Kila chapter 3 – UV mapping. Retrieved October 7, 2016, from https://cgi.tutsplus.com/articles/game-character-creation-series-kila-chapter-3-uv-mapping–cg-26754
  5. What is the difference between 3D and 2D animation? (2010, January 29). Retrieved October 20, 2016, from DBS Interactive, https://www.dbswebsite.com/blog/2010/01/29/what-is-the-difference-between-3d-and-2d-animation/

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