When a 3D model could only be drawn using lines, it was always depicted in wireframe. With a model of anything more complicated than a simple shape such as a cube, it gets hard to see what it is. Figuring out how to show only the visible side, so the model appeared solid, was one of the first orders of business for the pioneers of the field. The solutions they came up with, as they pushed the technology to get more realistic results, are still with us. Understanding how they solved the problems of making images out of virtual 3D shapes is important for you to know, to set up the materials lighting, and other effects you’ll want.

At the base of the problem is the question of how to translate the shape of the model ...

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