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Subdivision surfaces generally provide an easier way to produce smooth, curved surfaces with almost no modeling restrictions that are well suited for animation purposes. Many polygon meshes can be converted arbitrarily to subdivision surfaces and will immediately gain the benefit of a smooth appearance. However, note that subdivision surfaces inherently have a higher memory cost, and dense subdivision surfaces may be less efficient than the equivalent polygon mesh if the geometry is highly over-detailed.

Curves are a specialized primitive which excel at rendering long, thin geometry such as hair, fur, or blades of grass.

Implicit surfaces are another type of specialized primitive, most often used when dealing with fluid simulations generated by a third-party package. They can also be used to render viscous fluids directly.

Volumes are used to render participating media with a heterogeneous density such as fog, smoke, or clouds.



The micropolygonlength attribute is a successor to the (deprecated) shading rate. While shading rate was expressed in term terms of area, micropolygonlength is (as the name indicates) a length


Occasionally, if the geometry is very detailed and/or displaced, you may need to use smaller values of micropolygonlength. However, note that smaller micropolygons will results result in a larger memory consumption and slower render times.