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During the last 20 years, the joint expansion of computing power, computer graphics, networking capabilities and multiresolution analysis have stimulated several research domains, and developed the need for new types of data such as 3D models, i.e. discrete surfaces. In the intersection between multiresolution analysis and computer graphics, subdivision methods, i.e. iterative refinement procedures of curves or surfaces, have a non-negligible place, since they are a basic component needed to adapt existing multiresolution techniques dedicated to signals and images to more complicated data such as discrete surfaces represented by polygonal meshes. Such representations are of great interest since they make polygonal meshes nearly as exible as higher level 3D model representations, such as piecewise polynomial based surfaces (e.g. NURBS, B-splines...). The generalization of subdivision methods from univariate data to polygonal meshes is relatively simple in case of a regular mesh but becomes less straightforward when handling irregularities. Moreover, in the linear univariate case, obtaining a smoother limit curve is achieved by increasing the size of the support of the subdivision scheme, which is not a trivial operation in the case of a surface subdivision scheme without a priori assumptions on the mesh. While many linear subdivision methods are available, the studies concerning more general non-linear methods are relatively sparse, whereas such techniques could be used to achieve better results without increasing the size support. The goal of this study is to propose and to analyze a binary non-linear interpolatory subdivision method. The proposed technique uses local polar coordinates to compute the positions of the newly inserted points. It is shown that the method converges toward continuous limit functions. The proposed univariate scheme is extended to triangular meshes, possibly with boundaries. In order to evaluate characteristics of the proposed scheme which are not proved analytically, numerical estimates to study convergence, regularity of the limit function and approximation order are studied and validated using known linear schemes of identical support. The convergence criterion is adapted to surface subdivision via a Hausdorff distance-based metric. The evolution of Gaussian and mean curvature of limit surfaces is also studied and compared against theoretical values when available. An application of surface subdivision to build a multiresolution representation of 3D models is also studied. In particular, the efficiency of such a representation for compression and in terms of rate-distortion of such a representation is shown. An alternate to the initial SPIHT-based encoding, based on the JPEG 2000 image compression standard method. This method makes possible partial decoding of the compressed model in both SNR-progressive and level-progressive ways, while adding only a minimal overhead when compared to SPIHT.