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since you admittedly don't have much experience with 3D and (presumably) OpenGL, I'll give you a "bird's eye" overview of the process. I'll do my considerations about OpenGL, but the basic reasoning yields for other APIs too. When you render something with a modern version of OpenGL you create objects that will reside into the GPU memory, and then mostly ...
Our digital world works with binary numeration then to multiplay or divide by 2 a value you can "move" a value to left or right i.e. << Left shift x = 5 << 1 0101 << 1 1010 10 >> Right shift x = 5 >> 1 0101 >> 1 0010 2 Work with values "power of two" is more easy for a CPU.
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