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3D Programming for Windows® by Charles Petzold

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Defining the 3D Figure

Traditionally in 3D computer graphics, the surfaces of three-dimensional figures are defined by a polygon mesh, which is a collection of 3D coordinate points arranged to form polygons. For figures with flat surfaces, generally only a few polygons are needed, but curved surfaces require many polygons to approximate the curvature of the figure.

In WPF 3D, the simplest form of polygon—the triangle—is used for this mesh. Triangles are very useful in 3D graphics. Any three non-coincident and non-collinear points define a triangle and, in effect, a plane, so that triangles are always flat. You know you're spending a lot of time with 3D programming when you begin seeing everything in the real world in terms of triangles.

In WPF 3D, ...

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