3D & Graphics Glossary

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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The term used to describe a rendering result of edges looking jagged instead of smooth or a moiré pattern.


Alpha map (Grayscale)

A texture asset that defines the transparency of pixels. Threekit platform calls this an Opacity Map.


Ambient occlusion map (Grayscale)

Ambient occlusion map is a predefined texture that determines how much ambient light a surface will receive, creating a shadowing effect. For example, underneath a sofa will be much darker than the top of the sofa.


Aspect Ratio

The ratio of the width and height of the viewport, image or render.



In the Threekit platform an asset refers to an entity that can be used in your project. It can be from outside sources or created in the Threekit Platform. Currently supported assets are: Model, Material, Texture, Item, Upload, Vector and LUT.



User-created specification that defines a property. These help drive configurations and can be created in the Logic Editor of an Asset. The Threekit platform uses: Asset, Boolean, Color, Number and String attributes.



An axis is one of the primary directions used to define the coordinate system. An axis describes the position of objects in 3D space along one of three cardinal directions, which are X, Y and Z. The Threekit platform uses a Y-Up axes system.




The mechanism of computing a time-consuming calculation and transferring details into a texture asset. A way to improve efficiency and performance.




Base Color(Color)

The base map defines the color of the surface under diffused light. Can be a HEX color value or sRGB map. Can also be referred to as the Albedo or Diffuse color.


Boolean (Attribute)


Boolean Shape


Bump maps (Grayscale)

Bump maps are grayscale maps that help define depth of surface. The pixels of the texture influence the height of the surface normals of an object without modifying its geometry.



In threekit you view the scene through a set of virtual cameras. There are two types of cameras 

Perspective or Orthographic


Clipping planes Near & Far

Clipping planes are imaginary planes that are always perpendicular to each other and cut away parts of objects, surfaces and structures. Clipping planes improve performance by limiting the area that the camera evaluates and renders while working.




Color ID maps  (Color)

Color ID maps work similar to transparency maps but gives the artist the ability to target different sections of asset with different colors in one single map rather than having multiple transparency maps.


Configurable Render

Render that has a piece that is configurable and changes by selection. Typically one angle, or combined with 360.


Coordinate System



Diffuse Maps (Color)

The diffuse map contains the color information of the surface but its missing reflectance values like the base color map in metal/roughness workflow. The raw metal in diffuse map will be black as metal doesn’t have a diffuse color.


Displacement Maps (Grayscale)

Displacement are similar to bump maps that store height information but also can modify and displace actual geometry when rendering which can modify the silhouette also. (Not available on the platform)




Field of View ( FOV )

Field of view is the extent of the observable scene through the camera. It can be horizontal or vertical FOV. The FOV changes based on aspect ratio and render resolution.


Focal Length

The focal length of a lens is the distance from the center of the lens to the film plane. The focal length is used to control angle of view. Increased focal length zooms in and increases the size of the objects and vice versa. The focal length of the camera is measured in mm.



Glossiness Map

Glossiness map is that opposite of roughness map. Glossiness map describes if the surface is smooth or rough. White represents smooth surface and blakc represents rough surface.



Height maps (Grayscale)

Height maps are used to deform and elevate surface geometry, which can create large bumps and protrusions without changing the silhouette of the model. (Not available on the platform)







Lifestyle Render

Render fully propped out with full scene. Can be called environment also.





Metallic (Grayscale)

Metallic maps are used to define which areas are raw metal. White denoting metallic surface and black representing non metallic surfaces.





Normal maps (Color)

Normal maps are color maps that provide more detailed surface texture than bump maps as they can also represent height and curvature per pixel of the surface.





Orthographic Camera

The scene is represented in two dimensional manner when viewing through this camera.


Opacity Map (Grayscale)





Perspective Camera

The perspective view simulates what your scene would like from a camera’s point of view. The scene is represented in three-dimensional manner when viewing through this camera.


Physically Based Rendering (PBR) or Physically Based Shading (PBS)

A collection rendering and shading technique that represents or closely matches how light interacts with objects in the physical world.  Advantages of using these techniques PBR reduces a lot of guesswork when creating materials, since algorithms that drive these techniques are based on physically accurate formulas.  PBR makes it easier to create realistic materials.  All the assets made with PBR workflow look accurate in all lighting conditions.  Assets remain consistent between artists and teams.


There are two PBR workflows :

* Metal / Roughness Workflow

* Specular / Glossiness Workflow




Roughness (Grayscale)

The map basically defines if a surface is smooth or rough, black representing smooth and white representing rough surfaces. This is done through control over the sharpness of the reflections. This map represents surface irregularities.



Simple Set Render

Render with simple environment. Floor, wall, and one or two props. Can be called a close up or hero also.



The specular map defines the reflectance values of metal and non metallic surfaces.





360 Render

Render that spins usually 12 frames. Usually a whitesweep.


Transparency maps (Grayscale)

Transparency maps, also known as opacity maps, these maps can be used to target specific sections of the asset or used for alpha blending. For example : grass, fire, smoke, water or decals etc.




Vector Displacement maps (Color)

Vector displacement is an extension of height map but can transform or deform geometry in any axis. (Not available on the platform)






Realtime rendering (The 3d in the browser we see. The "I just want to see it spin." One asset needed.)


Whitesweep Render

Render with white background or simple floor shadow. Can be called an outline also.




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