In computer games, using meshes
with many triangles can slow down rendering, even if using a VBO. It may be preferable to decimate (downsample)
the mesh so that it has fewer triangles.
In a level
of detail (LOD)
system, one would use multiple
versions of the surface. When it is far
away from the camera, the low resolution version would be sufficient. Mipmapping
is an example of LOD applied to textures.
can be helpful for this purpose.