In computer graphics, a polygon is a two-dimensional geometric shape defined by a set of vertices (corner points) connected by straight-line segments. Polygons are fundamental building blocks in 3D modeling, representing surfaces and structures in virtual environments. Triangles are the most commonly used polygons in 3D graphics due to their simplicity and efficiency in rendering.

Imagine a 3D model of a character, where the surfaces like the face, body, and limbs are composed of polygons. The arrangement of these polygons defines the model’s shape, and their interactions with light and shading create the visual appearance of the character in a virtual space.

The use of polygons allows for the efficient representation of complex objects and scenes in computer graphics. By connecting vertices with edges to form polygons, 3D models can be created with a level of detail and realism suitable for applications such as video games, simulations, and computer-aided design.

The choice of polygon count in a 3D model impacts its visual fidelity and performance. Higher polygon counts enable more detailed and realistic models but also require more computational resources. Balancing polygon count is crucial in optimizing the rendering process, especially in real-time applications like gaming.