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SUBDIVISION SURFACES: THE MARRIAGE OF POLYGONS AND NURBS

As the drawbacks of NURBS became apparent when they were put to the test in feature film production (Pixar only used NURBS for their first feature-length film, Toy Story), experts turned back to modeling with polygons. By the mid 1990s, computers were magnitudes faster. Rather than using mainframes, racks of computers were connected together in huge networks. Technology had caught up with the need. But how could the artist manage so many polygons?

The solution turned out to be subdivision surfaces. This trick was developed in the late 1970s by two teams. Ed Catmull, founder of Pixar, was a member of one of those teams. After trying out subdivision surfaces in the Pixar short Geri’s Game ...

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