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Chapter 8. Polygons and Subdivided Surfaces

Chapter 8. Polygons and Subdivided Surfaces

Polygons are a fun, easy way to model a surface. A polygon is a surface made up of smaller, flat surfaces with three or more sides. These smaller surfaces are called faces. Working with polygons has more of a rigid construction feeling, and working with NURBS has a more pliable, sculptural feeling.

Games use polygons extensively because they are bound by limitations of complexity if they want to maintain fast interaction with real-time rendering. If your character has a low poly (short for polygon) count—that is, a low number of faces—it will render and interact quickly. A character in a game is usually limited to a specific number of polygons so that the game can run in real time (Figure 8.1).


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