Polygons are the surfaces the 3D world is constructed out of. Polygons themselves are simple triangle shapes. Each polygon is made up of 3 points in 3D space (1.), each of those points then draw a line to one another (2.), and the enclosed triangle shape you end up with is then filled in with a color (3.) which will be the surface you end up seeing.

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Together multiple polygons can be used to create 3d shapes (Models), as seen in this illustration.
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