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The triangle primitive is available in order to make more complex objects than the built-in shapes will permit. Triangles are usually not created by hand but are converted from other files or generated by utilities. A triangle is defined by

  triangle {
    <Corner_1>, <Corner_2>, <Corner_3>

where <Corner_n> is a vector defining the x, y, z coordinates of each corner of the triangle.

Because triangles are perfectly flat surfaces it would require extremely large numbers of very small triangles to approximate a smooth, curved surface. However much of our perception of smooth surfaces is dependent upon the way light and shading is done. By artificially modifying the surface normals we can simulate a smooth surface and hide the sharp-edged seams between individual triangles.