3D Computer Graphics Glossary

Find easy-reading definitions of the most used 3D computer graphics terms

Please note, the intent of this Glossary is giving definitions which you can easily and quickly read and understand. It might be useful if you are a very busy person, or you are new in the 3D graphics industry. You can also find the definitions of the words taken from the professional jargon. To see the detailed scientific definitions you can use Wikipedia and other authoritative resources.





This abbreviation means "3 dimensional".


In the most cases, it related to:


  • Volume objects. 

  • Technologies which allow working with volume objects.

  • Simulations of volume objects and processes they are involved in.


"3 dimensional" is applicable for these cases because to work with something spatial people use 3 dimensions, traditionally called X, Y, Z.

3D Animation


An animation which contains computer-generated spatial objects.

3D Artist


A skilled person who can create 3D Models, 3D Renderings or 3D Animations.

3D Computer Graphics


Visual presentations, such as images, animations, interactive presentations, depictions in video games which contains any computer generated representation of 3D objects.


Also, computer technologies which allow us to get such visual presentations.

3D Design


A design of various objects by using 3D Modelling with 3D Rendering or without it.

3D Floorplan


A floor plan which has a 3D visual representation of walls and may contain a 3D representation of furniture, fixtures, and equipment.

3D floor plan sample
3D floor plan sample
Samples of 3D Floorplans

3D Graphics


3D Model


A spatial object visually represented on a computer device which can be reviewed from any side by rotation.


Practically they can be used in 3D scenes, for 3D printing, and for other goals.

3D Modelling


The process of creating of 3D models.

3D Render


3D Rendered panorama tour


A Panorama tour which is done by using 3D Rendering technology.

3D Rendering


1. The Scientific definition:


Computer generation of raster images (or animations*) by using 3D models, material, and lighting simulation.


2. The traditional definition for the computer graphics industry:


Creating raster images (or animations*) which contains computer-generated spacial objects. Besides of a generation of raster images or animations (described in the definition 1), this process may include also stages, which should be done before, such as 3D modeling and 3D scene making).


3. Images, done by using processes described in definitions definition 1 or definition 2.


*- Though the term 3D rendering is applicable to animations, the term 3D Animation is more specifically applicable to getting animations by using 3D computer generation.


3D Scene


A set of 3D models, materials assigned to them, objects, which simulate a lightning, various adjustments, and setups. May also contain simulations of various physical processes and additional effects.


Used for getting 3D renderings and 3D Animations.

3D Visualization


3D Visualizals


3Ds Max


The software for creating 3D models, 3D renderings, and 3D animations. Developed and produced by Autodesk, Inc.



Architectural 3D Rendering


A 3D renderings of architectural objects, such as a building, external construction, outdoor landscapes. 

3d architectural rendering of the hotel in Florida
3D architectural rendering for the elevated railway in Melbourne
3D architectural rendering for the3d architectural rendering of the house in Florida
Architectural 3D Rendering Samples

Architectural Visualization




Abbreviation of Architectural Visualization. See definition of Architectural 3D Rendering.





CG Artist


A professional who can create Computer Generated Images





A process of making a Raster image or animations from other images or animations by overlaying them as layers.


This technology often used for creating 3D renderings and 3D animations.


Computer Generated Images

Images, generated with a computer.

Computer Graphics


All kind of visual representations generated with a computer.

Corona Renderer


The plugin for 3Ds Max and Cinema 4D used for getting photorealistic 3D Renderings and 3D Animations.


The development started in 2009 by Ondřej Karlík. Currently is a project of Chaos Group.


Check out Corona Renderer Website



(See also: V-Ray)



Exterior 3D Rendering




Furniture 3D Rendering


Creating 3D rendering of furniture.

3D Rendering for the children's bed
3D Rendering for the children's bed
Furniture 3D Rendering Samples



Interactive presentation


Computer generated objects a user can interact with.

Interior 3D Rendering


Creating 3D Rendering of interiors.

3D Rendering for the bedroom
3D Rendering for the living room
Interior 3D Rendering Samples

Internal 3D rendering




Outdoor 3D Rendering






The kind of an interactive presentation which represents a user's view of an environment. A user's point of view can be in a static position, and user can rotate a view about of one or two axes, 

Panorama 360 degrees


A kind of a Panorama in which user can rotate a view by 360 degrees above horizontal and vertical axes. This actually simulates a real human's view rotation if a human uses a head and body rotations. 

Panorama tour


A kind of virtual tour consisted of Panoramas user can switch between.   





A similarity of an image to a real photograph.

3D Rendering for the children's room
3D Rendering for the historical building
3D product rendering for the lock system
Though these images and other images on this website are very similar to real photographs they are not photographs, but Computer Generated Images.



Looks as real as a photograph.


See also, Photorealism.



A dot a raster image consists of.



In term of the Computer Graphic industry, this is a software which adds an additional functionality to another software.

(See also: V-Ray, Corona Renderer)



Adding additional effects to raster images.

Used in 3D computer graphics to add effects to 3D rendered images.

Product 3D Rendering


Creating 3D renderings of various products.

3D product rendering for the control unit
3D product rendering for the lock
Product 3D Rendering Samples



Raster Image


The image which is formed as a rectangular matrix of pixels.


All of the digital photographs and most of the 3D rendered images are raster images.

Raster Image Sample. 3D Rendering
You will see pixels a raster image consist of if you zoom a raster image  



In term of 3D Computer graphics, the term Render is the same as 3D Rendering.

Render Farm


A very powerful computer or a network of powerful computers used for a fast production of 3D Renderings or 3D Animations





The plugin for 3Ds Max and other software (such as Blender, Cinema 4D, Maya, Nuke, Rhinoceros, SketchUp etc.) used for getting photorealistic 3D renderings and 3D animations.


Produced by Chaos Group.

V-Ray exterior 3D Rendering
V-Ray interior 3D Rendering

See also: Corona renderer.

Virtual Reality


All of the computer technologies which simulates some of the degree of a real feeling of computer-generated objects or environment.

Virtual Tour


A kind of interactive presentation which simulates a user's walking within a computer-generated environment.



All of the images were taken from 3D Exterior, Interior, Floor Plan, Furniture and Product Rendering Portfolio.

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If you think this Glossary contains a mistake, or we should add some 3D computer graphics term, don't hesitate to inform us

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