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Are you confused by terminology used on this site? The following explains some of the buzzwords we're using. If you still have questions, just ask.

3D graphics: Images created from a virtual world modeled in the computer. Do not confuse this with stereoscopic 3D in which the viewer can control perspective by simply moving their head. 3D graphics can be animated or static illustrations. Please visit our gallery for some examples of 3D work we've done. Since the techniques can be very involved, we have another section explaining the 3D process.

After Effects: Software developed by Adobe for compositing, 2D animation and visual effects. After Effects has been used in many motion picture and television productions and is used at Digic for a variety of post-production functions.

animation: The illusion of movement by small increments of change between still frames shown in rapid sequence. Digic creates a variety of styles of animation using many different techniques.

bitmapped graphics: Images represented in the computer as a matrix of pixels (as opposed to vector graphics). Bitmap is the format used for continuous images such as photographs and video. GIF and JPEG are two common file formats for storing bitmapped graphics.

composite/compositing: The process of merging two or more images into a single, seamless whole. Many visual effects are achieved, at least in part, through compositing.

Flash: Software developed by Macromedia for delivering multimedia web experiences. Digic uses Flash to develop animations and interactive components such as the navigation menu at the top of this page and the examples shown in our Flash gallery. Viewing Flash content requires a player such as a browser plug-in or a standalone program.

HTML: Hypertext Markup Language is the code that tells a browser how to display a web page. For an example of what it looks like, select View Source in your browser's menu. We sometimes say "plain HTML" or "HTML only" to refer to pages that contain no additional technologies such as Flash.

image processing: The use of various tools and algorithms to modify images within a computer. This can consist of such things as adjusting color, contrast, blurring/sharpening, distorting, stylizing, etc.

LightWave: Software developed by NewTek for producing 3D animation. LightWave has been used in numerous motion picture and television productions and is Digic's primary 3D tool.

modeling: The process of creating the 3D geometry for an object. A 3D model could be anything from a company's logo to a digital human. 3D objects are generally represented in the computer as a mesh of polygons or curves which, through various surfacing and rendering techniques (see The 3D Process), can be made to appear photo-realistic, cartoon-like or other styles.

morphing: A technique where one image smoothly transforms into another. In bitmapped morphing, intermediate images are produced by distorting or warping the starting and ending images while selectively dissolving between them. This technique can be applied to still or moving images. In vector-based morphing, intermediate images are produced by transforming the geometric description of the starting and ending images. This technique can be applied to 2D (used in Flash) or 3D (used in LightWave) objects.

motion graphics: Animated graphic design. Motion graphics combines the arts of design, filmmaking, sound, music design, and animation in solutions that solve communication problems, educate an audience, add to an entertainment experience, or extend the value of a brand.

non-linear editing (NLE): Editing audio or visual content on a computer. "Non-linear" implies direct access to any point in the media as opposed to sequential access required by tape devices. Digic uses an NLE from Digital Processing Systems that produces professional results while saving the client money over other systems.

particle effects: A computer graphics technique used to animate a large number of similar objects that obey well-defined behavioral rules. This is often used to simulate natural phenoma such as fire, smoke, or snow as well as controlling multitudes of discrete objects just as a field of asteroids, a swarm of bees, or even text characters. Digic uses both 2D and 3D particle systems.

plug-in: A software module that adds functionality to another program by embedding itself within the host program such that it appears to be an extension of the original program. For example, Flash Player is a browser plug-in. Digic uses numerous plug-ins to extend the capabilities of its animation software.

Real Media: A technology developed by Real Networks for streaming audio and video on the web. Digic uses Real Media for displaying animations in our gallery.

rotoscoping: The process of tracing images on a frame-by-frame basis to create mattes, new imagery, or to remove imagery (e.g. painting out rigging).

vector graphics: Images represented in the computer by their geometric description rather than a bitmap (see bitmapped graphics). This allows certain types of images to be stored in a compact form for faster downloading from the web and also allows images to be scaled to any size without aliasing.

(pre-)visualization: The use of computer graphics to create images of objects or situations that may not yet exist or are not easily accessible. For example, Digic can create visualizations of products or buildings not yet built and scientific or medical processes.