Graphics hardware has been progressively optimized to render more triangles with increasingly flexible shading. For highly detailed geometry, interactive applications restricted themselves to performing transforms on fixed geometry, since they could not incur the cost required to generate and transfer smooth or displaced geometry to the GPU at render time. As a result of recent advances in graphics hardware, in particular the GPU tessellation unit, complex geometry can now be generated on-the-fly within the GPU’s rendering pipeline. This has enabled the generation and displacement of smooth parametric surfaces in real-time applications. However, many well-established approaches in offline rendering are not directly transferable due to the limited tessellation patterns or the parallel execution model of the tessellation stage. In this survey, we provide an overview of recent work and challenges in this topic by summarizing, discussing, and comparing methods for the rendering of smooth and highly-detailed surfaces in real-time.