Unit of competency details

CUFANM401A - Prepare 3D digital models for production (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 05/Jul/2010

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUAANM401 - Create advanced 3D digital modelsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Title changed. Elements and performance criteria edited for clarity. 14/Jan/2016

Training packages that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
ICP10 - Printing and Graphic ArtsPrinting and Graphic Arts 1.0-2.1 
ICP - Printing and Graphic ArtsPrinting and Graphic Arts 1.0-1.1 
CUF07 - Screen and Media Training PackageScreen and Media Training Package 1.2 
CUA - Creative Arts and Culture Training PackageCreative Arts and Culture Training Package 1.0 

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
ICP50210 - Diploma of Printing and Graphic Arts (Multimedia)Diploma of Printing and Graphic Arts (Multimedia) 1-2 
ICP50115 - Diploma of Printing and Graphic ArtsDiploma of Printing and Graphic Arts 
ICP40210 - Certificate IV in Printing and Graphic Arts (Multimedia)Certificate IV in Printing and Graphic Arts (Multimedia) 1-2 
ICP40115 - Certificate IV in Printing and Graphic ArtsCertificate IV in Printing and Graphic Arts 
CUF50207 - Diploma of Interactive Digital MediaDiploma of Interactive Digital Media 
CUF50107 - Diploma of Screen and MediaDiploma of Screen and Media 
CUF40207 - Certificate IV in Interactive Digital MediaCertificate IV in Interactive Digital Media 
CUF40107 - Certificate IV in Screen and MediaCertificate IV in Screen and Media 
CUA50513 - Diploma of Live Production DesignDiploma of Live Production Design 
CUA50413 - Diploma of Live Production and Technical ServicesDiploma of Live Production and Technical Services 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 020115 Computer Graphics  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 020115 Computer Graphics  25/Sep/2008 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to prepare 3D digital models for a range of contexts.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit requires the application of 3D digital modelling skills to prepare 3D models (including character models) to a high level of finish so they are ready for use in animations, high-end games, virtual worlds or specialist digital resource materials in areas such as medicine, architecture, engineering and aeronautics.

On small-scale productions, modellers also rig, build textures and create lighting. On larger projects, they may be required to liaise with riggers, texture and lighting artists. Even though work at this level is undertaken with minimum supervision, modellers are members of a production team and close collaboration with other team members is essential, as is an ability to deliver on schedule and to work under pressure.

As they develop their skills and interests, modellers may concentrate on different areas, such as characters, objects, environments and special effects. Aspects of these skills are covered in:

  • CUFANM402A Create digital visual effects
  • CUFANM501A Create 3D digital character animation
  • CUFANM502A Create 3D digital environments.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

  • CUFANM310A Create 3D digital models

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



Clarify work requirements

1. With reference to production documentation , clarify requirements  and purpose  for 3D digital models

2. In consultation with relevant personnel , clarify work flow sequences to ensure that production schedule deadlines are met

3. Select software  that best suits the type of production and delivery platform  for which 3D digital models are being prepared

4. Gather and analyse reference material  to help with visualisation of final models

Prepare 3D models

5. Build and modify shaders to achieve required outcome

6. Apply texture coordinates  or UV mapping as required

7. Paint required texture maps 

8. Use appropriate lighting techniques  to light the 3D models as required

9. Rig 3D models as required, ensuring that controls are logical and easy to use, and that rigs are robust and perform to specifications

10. Set up model deformations  as required

11. Use scripting language  as required to enhance the functionality of rigs

12. Create morph targets or blend shapes as required

Finalise 3D digital models

13. Test models to identify faults, and adjust as required

14. Submit final models to relevant personnel by agreed deadlines

15. Make back-up copies in accordance with enterprise procedures

16. Complete workplace documentation as required

17. Render final models as required

18. Review process of constructing 3D digital models and note areas for future improvement

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication, teamwork and literacy skills sufficient to:
  • interpret and clarify written or verbal instructions
  • work collaboratively with other team members
  • respond constructively to feedback received from other team members
  • complete workplace documentation
  • technical skills sufficient to:
  • use the full range of features of industry-current software applications to prepare 3D digital models to specifications
  • follow design reference accurately and work in a range of styles
  • manage files and directories using standard naming conventions and version control protocols
  • make back-up copies of files on a continuous basis and store appropriately
  • initiative and creativity in the context of:
  • visualising and modelling 3D characters, props and environments to a high level of finish
  • analysing and solving problems as they arise during the modelling process
  • self-management, learning and planning skills sufficient to:
  • prioritise work tasks
  • meet deadlines
  • continuously improve skills and knowledge by keeping up to date with industry developments and new software features
  • seek expert assistance as required

Required knowledge 

  • industry knowledge, including:
  • roles and responsibilities of project team members in the relevant industry sector
  • sound understanding of the relationship between the technical and creative aspects and requirements of productions in which 3D digital models are used
  • issues and challenges that arise in the context of preparing 3D digital models
  • well-developed drawing skills, including use of light and shadow
  • good understanding of anatomy
  • modelling techniques with polygons and NURBS
  • strong sense of scale, form, weight and volume
  • strong understanding of light, colour, composition and mood
  • technical parameters of various platforms and how these impact on the process of preparing 3D digital models
  • OHS standards as they relate to working for periods of time on computers

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • 3D digital models created to a high level of finish that:
  • are robust and perform to specifications
  • demonstrate attention to detail
  • meet design and aesthetic requirements
  • collaborative approach to work
  • ability to meet deadlines.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to a selection of industry-current software as listed in the range statement
  • access to simulated or real production situations that require the preparation of 3D digital models
  • access to appropriate learning and assessment support when required
  • use of culturally appropriate processes and techniques appropriate to the language and literacy capacity of learners and the work being performed.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance
  • evaluation of a range of 3D digital models prepared by the candidate to determine ability to create models in a range of styles
  • written or verbal questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required skills and knowledge section of this unit.

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • BSBCRT402A Collaborate in a creative process
  • CUFANM402A Create digital visual effects
  • CUFANM501A Create 3D digital character animation
  • CUFANM502A Create 3D digital environments.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Production documentation  may include:

  • animatics
  • brief
  • storyboard
  • technical specifications.

Requirements  may include:

  • assets for integration
  • collaboration with other team members
  • creative expectations
  • design specifications
  • output format
  • technical specifications
  • timelines.

Purpose  of 3D digital models may be for:

  • animations
  • digital simulations, e.g.:
  • architectural models
  • e-learning resource
  • demonstration of processes and procedures.

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • 3D designer or concept artist
  • 3D modeller
  • art director
  • director
  • head of department
  • matte painter
  • producer
  • project manager
  • storyboard artist
  • supervisor
  • technical director
  • technical/specialist personnel.

Software  may include:

  • graphics, e.g.
  • Illustrator
  • Photoshop
  • 3D
  • 3D Studio Max
  • Maya
  • Softimage.

Delivery platform  may include:

  • broadcast television
  • CD
  • DVD
  • film
  • games console
  • internet
  • kiosk
  • mobile phone
  • mobile phone or other digital devices
  • personal digital assistant (PDA)
  • video.

Reference material  may include:

  • books
  • concept drawings and designs
  • direct observation of actions to be simulated in 3D models
  • maquette
  • real objects on which models are to be based
  • still images
  • videos.

Application of texture coordinates  involves:

  • efficient use of texture space
  • logical layout to facilitate ease of painting textures
  • minimal texture distortion
  • minimal texture seams.

Texture maps  may include:

  • bump
  • colour
  • normal
  • reflection
  • specular
  • transparency.

Lighting techniques  may include:

  • global illumination
  • image-based lighting
  • radiosity
  • simple lighting set-ups
  • vertex lighting.

Model deformations  may include:

  • corrective morph targets
  • muscle simulations
  • skinning of model to rig
  • weighting of vertices
  • wrap deformers.

Scripting languages  may include:

  • MAX
  • MEL
  • Python.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Visual communication - animation and digital effects

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

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