Using Meshes in 3D Graphic

Using Meshes in 3D Graphic

A mesh is a 3D representation of a figure made up of points (vertices) connected by lines (edges) to create basic shapes(polygons) that form the object. It’s like a three-dimensional “connect the dots” puzzle. Meshes can be anything that you can see in the real world, from people to buildings to vehicles, etc. Another common term for a mesh is model.

Meshes can come in different data formats, including .3ds, .lwo, and .obj. The format used depends on what program you create the model in, and what program you render it in. (Rendering means the program looks at all the data, from meshes to coloration to lighting, calculates the information, and creates the final picture. The render button is sometimes jokingly referred to as the “make art” button.)

Poser and DS primarily work with .obj files. which are text-based files that tell the application where to put each dot, how to connect them together, and how to group the results. In many programs, including Poser and DS, grouping includes things like what material each polygon belongs to and what part of the object it belongs to. Victoria 3, for example, has materials like SkinHead and SkinScalp, and mesh parts such as Head and Neck. (Note: just because the files can be opened in a text editing program does not mean you can open the file and figure out what the object looks like simply by looking at the information!) 😉

Here is an example of a mesh. This is the Opera House by Will Dupre. The first view shows the entire mesh in wireframe view – you can see all the vertices and edges of the mesh:


This is the mesh in a flat-shaded mode. Now you can see the polygons (the light grey squares) that the vertices and edges created:


And here is the mesh once it has been given materials, those materials textured, and the mesh rendered in a 3D program:


Copyright caution: Mesh information can be changed, depending your needs, but you can not change a part of the mesh then claim it as your own to do with as you like. You must still follow the original license agreement that came with the mesh. You also can not change the format of a mesh (from .obj to .3ds for example) and then do with it as you like. Taking a model and chopping part of it off or otherwise changing the polygon count (reducing or increasing it) then redistributing it is also not allowed without explicit permission from the creator(s) of the mesh. Changes like these are called derivations and are still under the license of the original mesh.

Oftentimes, the change itself can be considered original and the change can be used as desired. For example, if you remapped Victoria 3 using UVMapper, you can redistribute the .uvs file which contains the mapping changes, and people can use the .uvs file and apply it to the Victoria 3 mesh. You could not, however, redistribute Victoria 3’s mesh, even if it’s the one with the changed mapping. Newly created morphs are usually redistributable so long as only the newly created morph information itself is given out. (Newly created means that you made all parts of the morph yourself, not using anyone else’s morph information. Just combining other people’s morphs is not created a new morph.) As with anything else, if you’re not sure if something is permissible, ASK the creator of the original file.