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This article is going to cover two things in great detail: vertices and meshes and how they are handled in Cinder. Accessing the vertices in the TriMesh is a little different than you might imagine it at first, because you can’t directly access the vertices of the mesh and then alter them. You can even animate the positions of the texture coordinates by copying, modifying, and then re-appending them in the same way that the vertices and RGB coordinates were updated.
Now, if you thought that was all there was to working with meshes in Cinder you would be wrong. Cinder always requires that you create the indices for a mesh before you create the positions for that mesh, because conceptually a vertice without a index can’t be properly integrated into the mesh and vice versa. The positions are automatically generated to be unit vector values, stored both on the graphics card and in the application memory, When you modify the VertexIter you mark a certain range of data as needing to be uploaded to the graphics card. You may be noticing the last two parameters, which are pointers to either the static or dynamic VBO data from the source VBO.
Which you use will depend on how the source has been created, using the dynamic properties from a source VBO requires that the source has dynamic positionsVBO with dynamic properties.
As a final demonstration of how much is built into the VBO and mesh handling in Cinder you can easily create normals and set the normals for a VBO using the VertexIter object and its setNormal() method. Not the answer you're looking for?Browse other questions tagged qt opengl qglwidget or ask your own question. Is it a forgone conclusion that any exo-bacteria discovered on an alien, albeit Earth-like planet will be deadly to human life? Is it sound project management practice to make software engineers fix bugs "off the clock"? Instead you specify individual vertex data in immediate mode (between glBegin() and glEnd() pairs), you can store vertex data in a set of arrays including vertex coordinates, normals, texture coordinates and color information.
Each face needs 4 times of glVertex*() calls to make a quad, for example, the quad at front is v0-v1-v2-v3. Using vertex arrays reduces the number of function calls and redundant usage of shared vertices.
Notice that vertex arrays are located in your application(system memory), which is on the client side. For above example to draw a cube, the first parameter is GL_QUADS, the second is 0, which means starting from beginning of the array.
The size of vertex coordinates array is now 8, which is exactly same number of vertices in the cube without any redundant entries. For example, the vertex v0 is shared with the front, right and up face, but, the normals cannot be shared at v0. There’s a hitch and that hitch is that the OpenGL renderer has different ways of connecting the vertices that you pass to it and none are as efficient as to only need eight vertices to create a cube. It’s a convienent way to keep track of multiple complex objects, draw and scale them easily, and manage which vertices create which faces of a model.
Instead, you make a copy of the vertices using getVertices(), which returns a Vector of the vertices contained by the TriMesh as Vec3f objects and then modifying the values in that vector. As I mentioned earlier, the way that geometry is drawn on the graphics card is by sending points and telling the card how to connect those points.
The two modes of storing positions means that the process for working with VboMeshes that dynamic positions versus those that have static positions is slightly different. Using the static values from a buffer means copying the values over so that they can be manipulated independently. And you can draw geometric primitives by dereferencing the array elements with array indices. In immediate mode, you have to provide the shared vertex 3 times, once for each face as shown in the code.


Plus, there are 6 functions to specify the exact positions(addresses) of arrays, so, OpenGL can access the arrays in your application. Because glDrawArrays() does not allows hopping around the vertex arrays, you still have to repeat the shared vertices once per face.
However, we still need to duplicate the shared vertices, so the number of vertices defined in the array is still 24 instead of 8.
The first one is the type of primitive, the second is the number of indices of index array, the third is data type of index array and the last parameter is the address of index array.
It should be the smallest data type that can fit maximum index number in order to reduce the size of index array, otherwise, it may cause performance drop due to the size of index array.
If the normals of the adjacent polygons at a shared vertex are all different, then normal vectors should be specified as many as the number of faces, once for each face.
If any of those are already familiar to you and you simply want implementation details on how they work, feel free to skip ahead or around, I won’t be offended. Initially the world is oriented at the upper left hand corner of your screen, so the x Axis points right, y Axis points downward, z Axis points into the screen (away from the user). Let’s get the simplest example out the way first, drawing a square consisting of two triangles. A simple cube should suffice to demonstrate how the mesh connects all the vertices that it contains. To update the vertices in the mesh itself you then need to clear the mesh and append all the vertices again. This might remind you a little of how the Textures work in OpenGL: load some data up there, draw it by referring to it using its TextureId. Vertex Arrays just let you store all the vertex data in an array on the client side, that is, on the CPU side and then send it to the graphics card when you’re ready to draw it.
This requires retrieving the color values from the mesh and using an iterator to examine the values, which is a familiar pattern in Cinder. The values are only uploaded to the card when index, color, or position data is modified saving time and space on any draw operation when changes haven’t been made. This means that the target mesh will have the same properties as the source mesh until they are altered. The normal essentially tells OpenGL how any light is to be reflected off of a particular face.
I've done quite a bit of OpenGL before (with Glut), but this is my first time using Qt as a wrapper. If you also specify normals and colors to the corresponding vertices, the number of function calls increases to 3 times more; 24 of glColor*() and 24 of glNormal*(). Furthermore, OpenGL may cache the recently processed vertices and reuse them without resending the same vertices into vertex transform pipeline multiple times. For this situation, the normal is not the same at a shared vertex, the vertex cannot be defined only once in vertex array any more.
By adding this restriction of a range, OpenGL may be able to obtain only limited amount of vertex array data prior to rendering, and may increase performance. A vertex is a point in geometrical shape, or, a vertex is a point in 3D space that has x, y, and z properties that determine where it is in relation to the 0, 0, 0 point (you can think of this as the center) of the world. A vertex gets connected to another vertex in the order that the mode does it’s winding and this means that you might need multiple vertices in a given location to create the shape you want.
This requires, as you’d imagine, four vertices that represent the vertices of each triangle. At first glance, the next block of pre (140 lines) might seem daunting, but all we are doing is repeating the previous pre block 6 times, once per side. This requires that you use texture coordinates, not space coordinates or pixel co-ordinates.


The downside of that is that you’re still storing the data on the client side and sending it over to the graphics card. This is an important nuance because the idea of keeping records both on the graphics card and in the application memory is used throughout the VboMesh, color data, texture positions, and even indices.
Using the dynamic properties of a mesh means that the target mesh is using the same data as the source and changes to the source will be reflected in the target mesh. It must be defined multiple times in the array for vertex coordinates in order to match the same amount of elements in the normal array. But, if you specify a sparsely used range, it causes unnecessary process for many unused vertices in that range. For instance, a vertex with the values 100, 100, 100, describes a location 100 pixels to the right on the x axis, down on the y axis, and back on the z axis from the origin of the world in which it is located. So, you may think your image is 500 pixels high and 500 pixels wide, but texture co-ordinates say that your texture is 1×1 with what you think of as upper-left corner (0, 0), still being (0, 0), but the bottom-right corner being (1,1). So, for instance, if you want static positions and static colors you would create a Layout object with those properties set on it, declare a VboMesh and then assign it to the result of a call to VboMesh(). This makes it easy to reflect changes across meshes, for instance color effects or textures, but makes your meshes dependent on the source mesh. In your Cinder application, unless you change it, the world is oriented at the upper left hand corner of your screen. If you note the order of vertices in the GL chart above you’ll see that all of them use their vertices slightly differently (in particular you should make note of the GL_TRIANGLE_STRIP example). All the values between the 0, 0 and 1,1 points are scalar, meaning that 0.5 will be the midpoint of the image. The Display List is a similar technique, using an array to store the created geometry, with the crucial difference that a Display List lives solely on the graphics card. Remember how in the first example before introducing the TriMesh, you saw how the order that the vertices were created in affected how they were connected the other vertices? There are some key differences between 2d textures and 3d textures that you can read up more on here .
Drawing a shape requires that you keep track of which drawing mode is being used and which order your vertices are declared in. This means that once you’ve created the vertex data for geometry, you can send it the graphics card and draw it simply by referencing the id of the stored data.
Well, the index for a vertex in the VboMesh works much the same way, indicating where the vertex is in relation to the other vertices and how it should be connected to them. So, a line is made up of the connections between two vertices, a pyramid is a construction made of the connections between five vertices, a cube is made up of the connections between eight vertices.
Enter the mesh, which is really just an abstraction of the vertex and drawing mode that we started with but which has the added bonus of managing the draw order for you. Once they’ve been sent to the card, you need to load them from the card, modify them, and then resend them to the card to see your changes applied. That may seem insignificant at first, but it provides some real benefits when working with complex geometry. Since one of the conveniences of moving things to the graphics card is reducing the amount of traffic between the graphics card and the rest of your system.
The VBO operates quite similarly to the Display List, with the advantage of allowing you to modify the geometry data on the graphics card without downloading all of it at once.



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