Very exciting pictures (to me)!
It definitely does seem like it uses a lot of points in the mesh…are you saying this is necessary in order to have enough points to keep the exterior/interior surfaces of the ball at an appropriately smooth curvature?
I know that when doing vector illustration in 2D one does curves using endpoints and control points…as opposed to approximations with an ever increasing # of straight line segments. But it seems like often in blender the answer for curvature is to make a finer mesh and manage a lot of individual points. But a spherical shell seems like it could be made out of “simple” curved triangles via a mathematical shortcut. Are “Nurbs” the moral equivalent of a Bezier Curve or B-Spline in 3D?
(Pardon me mixing my from-ground-zero blender education in with this!)