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At first I thought this was a joke, but I''ll go ahead and treat it seriously.

"Primitives" as in "geometric primitives." In general 3D graphics, a geometric primitive is a basic shape that other more complicated shapes are composed of. For example: triangles, squares, spheres, cylinders, pyramids, etc... are all geometric primitves in general 3D graphics.

That being said, whenever you see someone talking about primitves in either D3D or OpenGL, they usually mean just triangles, and in the case of OpenGL quads (a 4 sided polygon, like a square or rectangle) as well. When using one of these 3D API''s complicated shapes are broken down into triangles and quads (btw, a quad can also be broken into 2 triangles). Everyting from spheres and cylinders, to more complicated models like that of a human being are broken down into triangles and drawn on the screen by the graphics hardware.


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