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3D Art Essentials by Ami Chopine

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4

NURBS: THE SPLINY TRUTH

In the earlier days of computer graphics, it simply wasn’t possible for processors to handle huge numbers of polygons. Practical models made with polygons had angles and looked artificial. Modelers wanted a way to get nice-looking curves, originally to make more organic-looking models. Pixar, in particular, experimented successfully with the use of NURBS in its production of the first fully computer-animated movie, Toy Story.

NURBS (non-uniform rational Bezier splines) are specialized curves. They can be cross-hatched together to make a grid of curvy lines, which is called a NURBS surface. In today’s fast computing world, they are not used at all for organic models, but are a great way to model things such as cars and ...

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