Definition: Mathematical model used to compute appearance of the surface of a solid. * The surface is divided into patches and calculations are made of the light reflected off or received by each patch in relation to other patches that can be seen, i.e. are directly in line, from a given patch, irrespective of the viewer's position. * The more patches used, the more accurate the modelling: can give very realistic rendering but heavy-weight computing needed. * As the calculations are based on patches on the surface itself, the solid may be viewed from any angle.

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