With the birth of workstation computers came 3D computer graphics, based on vector graphics. Instead of the computer storing information about points, lines, and curves on a 2-dimensional plane, the computer stores the location of points, lines, and, typically, faces in 3-dimensional space.

3-dimensional polygons are the lifeblood of virtually all 3D computer graphics. As a result, most 3D graphics engines are based around storing points, lines that connect those points together, faces defined by the lines, and then a sequence of faces to create 3D polygons.Modern-day computer graphics software goes far beyond just the simple storage of polygons in computer memory. Today's graphics are not only the product of massive collections of polygons into identifiable shapes, but they also result from techniques in shading, texturing, and rasterization.