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NURBS

The development of NURBS (nonuniform rational B–splines) was an important step forward in CG modeling. Finally, a single modeling format existed that could precisely and efficiently represent a vast range of objects. In addition, these objects could be trimmed, allowing arbitrary areas to be removed from surfaces without changing the remaining areas. The end product of a long process of research, NURBS quickly became adopted as a de facto standard for CG surfacing applications.

NURBS surfaces are piecewise parametric surfaces, an almost entirely different approach to geometry representation than polygons. However, at render time, most renderers (Maya's included) convert NURBS geometry into polygons for computational convenience. To understand the choice between these formats, first let's examine NURBS more closely.


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