uv mapping is actually UVW MAPPING. U being the horizontal (x-axis), V being the vertical (y-axis) . It is like the XYZ axis of a 2d plane but since XYZ are used to denote 3D planes UV is used for the 2D planes.
Its is a 3D modeling process of projecting a 2d image on the surface of a 3D model for texuture and depth.(UV mapping, 2017) UV texture space facillitates the placement of an image or a texture map on a 3d surface. UVs are essential as they act as marker points for which points as in pixels of the image or texture go to which vertices or planes of the3d object. (Help, 2014)
A chequered sphere without (left) and with (right) UV mapping.(File: UV mapping checkered sphere.png, 2007)
In order to do uv mapping uv unwrapping has to be done which can me one of the most tedious part of 3D graphics.
Representation of unwrapping and creating a UV map of the cube, once the flat surface is made the 2D texture or image can be added to the 3D cube. (File: Cube representative UV Unwrapping.png, 2008)
Texturing is the process of adding different textures to different components of the object or a character or an envirnment in an animation or a game it is how professional animators are able to produce astonishing details, This detailing may include clothing, skin texture eve eye colors incase of characters or the leaves of the tree to the grains of the sand incase of envirnments, the texture of the objects defines the object in many ways but before adding this texture we must question ourself what feel do we want to give off by the teuture is the part old? if yes then according to the material it has to be shown for example if its an old metal it will be rusted, it wont be shiny or silver but brown and rough another example if its a cloth and its old it will be crinkled and ripped off from some parts with faded colors.(Ltd, no date)
In the image above you can see how much dept and detail is created by texturing it gives a more realistic effect. (MrMattWebb, 2010)
By using texture to give illusion of surface, animators are able to give photorealistic images showing the dept, opacity, age and material of the object. (ali, 2012)
The shader defines the material and surface properties of the textured object, they are a set of parameters that outline to how the computer should show the surface of the object. The light reflection/refraction, opacity and glossiness of the object is determined by the shaders, which is already included in 3D softwares and we just have to twerk the settings a little to get our final look. Each mappable object have series of mappable attributes such as colour, diffuse, transparency, opacity, ambient colour, incandescence, translucence, specularity, bump map, bit map.
all of the above attributes give a different and a more realistic look to the model according to its surface and material.
Is the process by which when a character is set up for animation all of its possible movements and gestures are taken in account.
By all the steps taken above and most importantly the rig the animator is able to finally breath life and movement to the character in the animation or game.
File: Cube representative UV Unwrapping.png (2008) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cube_Representative_UV_Unwrapping.png (Accessed: 6 February 2017).
NAVIDA. (n.d.). DirectX 11 Tessellation | NVIDIA from http://www.nvidia.com/object/tessellation.html
openGL and JOGL. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.felixgers.de/teaching/jogl/depthbufferALgo.html