Smooth shading

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Smooth shading is a technique of drawing a 3D model where normal is calculated for each model's vertex as weighted avarage of normals of polygons sharing the vertex. Advantage is that even low polygon count models usually don't appear faceted. The disadvantage is inherent inability to properly display models with sharp edges.

A sphere rendered in OpenGL using smooth shading
A sphere rendered in OpenGL using smooth shading
The same sphere rendered by POV-Ray raytracer. Note that since raytracers take into account the shape of the model when calculating areas in shadow - the model still looks faceted on the shadow bondary.
The same sphere rendered by POV-Ray raytracer. Note that since raytracers take into account the shape of the model when calculating areas in shadow - the model still looks faceted on the shadow bondary.

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