Is polygon just another word for face in Blender? For example, a cube has 6 faces. Does this mean that you could also say that this cube is made up of 6 polygons?


3 Answers 3


Yes. Polygon (or sometimes 'poly' for short) refers to a face of a 3D shape.

For a more full answer:

  • 'Tri' refers to a 3-sided polygon (triangle)
  • 'Quad' refers to a 4-sided polygon (quadrilateral)
  • 'ngon' refers to a polygon of more than 4 sides ('n' being used as a placeholder to mean 'penta', 'hexa' (-gon) etc. for brevity. They're all placed in the same bucket for 3D models because they all have the same practical problems.)

Polygon also just refers to any 2D shape in the world of maths/geometry too :)

  • $\begingroup$ A polygonal chain which is not closed is a geometrical shape as well, but not a polygon ;) $\endgroup$ Feb 9 at 6:51

Well, yes and no. While a polygon is first of all a set of points connected by lines to form a closed shape, this does not necessarily have an interior (generally speaking for geometry), whereas in 3D software usually a polygon is used for a "filled" polygon with interior rather than a hole surrounded by edges.

And for Blender, while you can say polygon to this shape no matter if you're looking at it in Vertex Select, Edge Select or Face Select mode, the word face distinctly refers to a filled polygon. You can select a boundary only polygon (unfilled) in Vertex Select or Edge Select mode and it's geometrically still a polygon, but you cannot select it in Face Select mode.

Okay, that was a little bit too excessive maybe, in case for what you are asking the simple answer would be: Yes, you can say the cube is made up of 6 polygons.

Let's put it this way: a face is always a polygon, but a polygon not always a face.


Basically yes, for Blender (since this where we are right now), a polygon is shorthand for a filled closed shape, unlike in regular geometry, where a polygon is not always needed to be filled. We need this as an approximation of the curves in real object, which would require an infinite amount of data for the point otherwise.

However, since this is a software we are talking about, it depend on which setting you are drawing the cube in to define how many polygon does it have. In this question for example, the post-triangulated cube actually have 12 polygons instead of 6 (each square face turned into 2 triangles). On the other hand, this cone is made of n triangle polygon (where n is the number of vertices)

Sample Polygon from Blender Manual


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