In Blender they speak about the UV/Image Editor. I cannot find the meaning of the letters "UV". What is UV standing for ?
Since 3D space and texture coordinates are stored together with the mesh to distinguish between them texture coordinates are associated with a separate letters sequence (U, V and W)
U and V denote the X and Y axes of the 2D texture that is projected onto the 3D model. 3D generated textures have another coordinate W that is equivalent to Z
U V and W co-ordinates are the same as X Y and Z co-ordinates except U V and W are used to describe the co-ordinates of a MESH while X Y and Z describe the co-ordinates of Z-SPACE. but, the UV editor is only 2D so the W co-ordinate is not seen leaving just the U and V co-ordinates, hence the UV editor. -Noah
Let me begin with the wrong answer for what UV mapping is... Imagine we want to use a photograph of a real cereal box and line it up on our virtual cereal box so that it can be applied to the surface. With a camera, we might capture three sides of the cereal box. Now imagine a dot, positioned on the photograph where those three sides of the box come together. Our goal is to get that dot from the photograph, to line up at the correct corner of our virtual cereal box.
The correct answer is to do the above backwards, except, one dot won't do it. UV mapping is the process of placing all the "dots" from our virtual box onto a photograph. Since a 3D model is made from a collection vertices, we let each vertex represent a dot, and then place those dots on the photograph where they belong. We let the computer distort the photograph, as necessary, so that those dots match up with their associated vertices.
Each triangle in our 3D model is represented by three vertices. Each triangle is filled in by distoring the pixels from the photograph, that are associated with that triangle, as defined by "dots" we laid on the photograph from our 3D model.