C-Buffers And Z-Buffers
Question submitted by (03 August 2000)

Return to The Archives
  Hello. I was just wondering- what would be the advantage of rendering to a cBuffer and a zBuffer? Thanks.  

  Here's a quick run-down. These are the key points. Depending on your situation, there may be other minor advantages or disadvantages that apply.

Advantages of a z-buffer:
  • Easily implemented in hardware.
  • Easily implemented in software.
  • Works well on any scene.
  • Disadvantages of a z-buffer:
  • Highly memory intensive (specialized hardware can avoid this drawback.)
  • Not well suited for higher-level visibility/occlusion culling.
  • Highly resolution dependent.
  • Prone to accuracy problems.
  • Advantages of the c-buffer:
  • Works well on scenes with large polygons (in these cases, faster than z-buffer and uses less memory.)
  • Not resolution dependent in the X-direction.
  • Works very well with higher-level visibility/occlusion culling algorithms.
  • Less prone to accuracy problems than z-buffers.
  • Disadvantages of the c-buffer:
  • Fast complexity growth with lots of small polygons in complex scenes.
  • Not as easily adapted for hardware as z-buffers.
  • Much trickier to code than a z-buffer (especially if you allow interpenetration.)
  • Resolution dependent in the Y direction (same as z-buffer.)

  • Response provided by Paul Nettle

    This article was originally an entry in flipCode's Ask Midnight, a Question and Answer column with Paul Nettle that's no longer active.


    Copyright 1999-2008 (C) FLIPCODE.COM and/or the original content author(s). All rights reserved.
    Please read our Terms, Conditions, and Privacy information.