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Thread: Maximum size of coordinates?

  1. #1
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    Maximum size of coordinates?

    I'm just curious about the maximum coordinates? How big can objects be? I know, that the z-buffer will be very coarse then, but can I tell the near/far clipping plane to be e.g. 1e20 and put a 1e19 sized cube in it?

  2. #2
    Senior Member OpenGL Guru
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    Re: Maximum size of coordinates?

    As long as you keep your coordinates inside the valid range of a float/double, I see no reason why it shouldn't be OK.

    And concerning Z-buffers. The projected Z-coordinate are normalized by the projection matrix to the range [0.0, 1.0], meaning 1.0 always refer to the far plane, and 0.0 to the near plane. So the Z-buffer won't loose any precision because you want huge values for your near/far planes, as you stated

  3. #3
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    Re: Maximum size of coordinates?

    I think that there is a problem with using large numbers in some situations. I posed a similar question in http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...ML/002210.html . My problem manifests itself in a disturbing jitter of my scene when I use large coordinates such as those normal in the Earth Centered Inertial (ECI) reference frame. When I subtract the coordinates of the scene center from all of the coordinates (effectively centering the scene around 0,0,0) the problem goes away.

    I did receive an email from Waleriy Sokolov of Bridges Software Company suggesting that I look into the glDepthRange() function however, I have not yet had the time to do so.

    If you find any answers here I would sure like to hear them.

    [This message has been edited by pleopard (edited 03-05-2001).]
    Obsessive - A word used by the lazy to describe the motivated.

  4. #4
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    Re: Maximum size of coordinates?

    Hello,

    it's far more likely to be floating point issues than glDepthRange stuff. According to the IEEE spec on floats,

    a + b = a

    for very large values of a and relatively small values of b =)

    its to do with, <er, thinks back to numerical methods lectures> representation issues. uhm, like if

    a= 100 000 000 000 000 , and
    b= 0.000 000 000 000 001

    then a+b is

    100 000 000 000 000.000 000 000 000 001

    but if you can only store 9 digits of the mantissa, then you're going to lose the 10^-15 and just get:

    100 000 000 * 10^6

    er, so, when you subtract everything to get the scene based towards zero , then it sounds like you're bringing all your numbers relatively close to each other, uhm, or something. <sheepish grin>

    cheers,
    John

  5. #5
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    Re: Maximum size of coordinates?

    John I think you hit the nail on the head. It is a precision problem. In my original question I was wondering if the glu calls were implemented using floats even though the parameter lists used double numbers.
    In the case where I subtract the scene center coordinates from all of the scene coordinates, my range of values is less than 500,000.

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