When I add a SubSurf modifier, I am able to specify how many for the viewport and how many for the render. After I apply the modifier, it goes away and conceivably applies the algorithm. I am confused as to how blender stores the object result for the viewport and the render separately. Is there a way I can alter the number of subsurfs to apply to the render or the viewport after I "Apply" the modifier?
I guess I am mostly confused about the fact that I have a single object in my object tree but there is this mysterious splitting of the object behind the scenes depending on if I am rendering or not.