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Thread: Overlay/Underlay planes in depth?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Overlay/Underlay planes in depth?

    The FAQ has a pretty anemic paragraph about overlay planes and how to use them in WGL. I've searched every bookstore I know of and I can't find anything that cares to cover overlay planes. They all act like overlay planes are outdated, but I can think of plenty of uses.

    Can anyone help me out? Some examples or some better documentation?


  2. #2
    Senior Member OpenGL Pro Zengar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001

    Re: Overlay/Underlay planes in depth?

    Ahh, as far as I know they are not supported by consumer graphics cards, only by some professional cards (like Quadro) - not sure about that though.

  3. #3

    Re: Overlay/Underlay planes in depth?

    Yes, perhaps it's better to forget about overlay/underlay planes. These can be emulated by rendering your overlays/underlays to offscreen buffers/textures and a composition with your main scene using blending.

    Once FBO multisampling is a reality, this composition technique will generalize very nicely, and be totally platform independent.

  4. #4

    Re: Overlay/Underlay planes in depth?

    If you do happen to have a card that supports these planes, you might be interested in this .

  5. #5

    Re: Overlay/Underlay planes in depth?

    The whole idea of overlay plane is that you do not damage the main plane with your second plane drawings... saving you losts of unessary redraws... but I guess that this concept of simple and basic separation of the drawing plane are only applicable for serious graphics apps. I dont agree!

    As for code, you could also look at the green book in the OpenGL series... That's the one focusing on X Windows, but the code is mostly applicable.

    Then, you've got the Qt4 APi from Trolltech that has a very neat set of features for there QGLWidget.

    Overlay's are style used in professional software in the CAD/CAM, Fx, CG and the likes...

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