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glDrawElements

Name

glDrawElements — render primitives from array data

C Specification

void glDrawElements( GLenum mode,
  GLsizei count,
  GLenum type,
  const GLvoid * indices);
 

Parameters

mode

Specifies what kind of primitives to render. Symbolic constants GL_POINTS, GL_LINE_STRIP, GL_LINE_LOOP, GL_LINES, GL_TRIANGLE_STRIP, GL_TRIANGLE_FAN and GL_TRIANGLES are accepted.

count

Specifies the number of elements to be rendered.

type

Specifies the type of the values in indices. Must be one of GL_UNSIGNED_BYTE, GL_UNSIGNED_SHORT, or GL_UNSIGNED_INT.

indices

Specifies a byte offset (cast to a pointer type) into the buffer bound to GL_ELEMENT_ARRAY_BUFFER to start reading indices from. If no buffer is bound, specifies a pointer to the location where the indices are stored.

Description

glDrawElements specifies multiple geometric primitives with very few subroutine calls. It is possible to prespecify separate arrays of attributes and use them to construct a sequence of primitives with a single call to glDrawElements.

When glDrawElements is called, it uses count sequential elements from an enabled array, starting at indices to construct a sequence of geometric primitives. mode specifies what kind of primitives are constructed and how the array elements construct these primitives. If more than one array is enabled, each is used.

To enable and disable a generic vertex attribute array, call glEnableVertexAttribArray and glDisableVertexAttribArray.

If an array corresponding to a generic attribute required by a vertex shader is not enabled, then the corresponding element is taken from the current generic attribute state.

Errors

GL_INVALID_ENUM is generated if mode is not an accepted value.

GL_INVALID_VALUE is generated if count is negative.

GL_INVALID_OPERATION is generated if a non-zero buffer object name is bound to an enabled array or the element array and the buffer object's data store is currently mapped.

GL_INVALID_FRAMEBUFFER_OPERATION is generated if the currently bound framebuffer is not framebuffer complete (i.e. the return value from glCheckFramebufferStatus is not GL_FRAMEBUFFER_COMPLETE).

GL_INVALID_OPERATION is generated if transform feedback is active and not paused.

Examples

Render an indexed vertex array (not loaded into OpenGL) using texture UV and normal vertex attributes.
glEnableVertexAttribArray(texcoord_attrib_index); // Attribute indexes were received from calls to glGetAttribLocation, or passed into glBindAttribLocation.
glEnableVertexAttribArray(normal_attrib_index);
glEnableVertexAttribArray(position_attrib_index);

glVertexAttribPointer(texcoord_attrib_index, 2, GL_FLOAT, false, 0, texcoords_data); // texcoords_data is a float*, 2 per vertex, representing UV coordinates.
glVertexAttribPointer(normal_attrib_index, 3, GL_FLOAT, false, 0, normals_data); // normals_data is a float*, 3 per vertex, representing normal vectors.
glVertexAttribPointer(position_attrib_index, 3, GL_FLOAT, false, 0, vertex_data); // vertex_data is a float*, 3 per vertex, representing the position of each vertex

// num_vertices is the number of verts in your vertex_data.
// index_data is an array of unsigned int offsets into vertex_data.
glDrawElements(GL_TRIANGLES, num_vertices, GL_UNSIGNED_INT, index_data);

glDisableVertexAttribArray(position_attrib_index);
glDisableVertexAttribArray(texcoord_attrib_index);
glDisableVertexAttribArray(normal_attrib_index);
Render an indexed buffer object using texture UV and normal vertex attributes.
glBindBuffer(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, vertex_buffer); // vertex_buffer is retrieved from glGenBuffers
glBindBuffer(GL_ELEMENT_ARRAY_BUFFER, index_buffer); // index_buffer is retrieved from glGenBuffers

glEnableVertexAttribArray(texcoord_attrib_index); // Attribute indexes were received from calls to glGetAttribLocation, or passed into glBindAttribLocation.
glEnableVertexAttribArray(normal_attrib_index);
glEnableVertexAttribArray(position_attrib_index);

// vertex_stride is the size of bytes of each vertex in the buffer object
// vertex_position_offset and kin are the offset in bytes of the position data
// in each vertex. For example if your vertex structure is
// [ position, texcoord, normal ] then position vertex_position_offset will
// have offset 0, vertex_texcoord_offset is 12 (position is 3 * sizeof(float)
// bytes large, and texcoord comes just after) and vertex_normal_offset is
// 20 = 5 * sizeof(float).
GLintptr vertex_texcoord_offset = 3 * sizeof(float);
GLintptr vertex_normal_offset = 5 * sizeof(float);
GLintptr vertex_position_offset = 0 * sizeof(float);

glVertexAttribPointer(texcoord_attrib_index, 2, GL_FLOAT, false, vertex_stride, (GLvoid*)vertex_texcoord_offset);
glVertexAttribPointer(normal_attrib_index, 3, GL_FLOAT, false, vertex_stride, (GLvoid*)vertex_normal_offset);
glVertexAttribPointer(position_attrib_index, 3, GL_FLOAT, false, vertex_stride, (GLvoid*)vertex_position_offset);

// num_vertices is the number of verts in your vertex_data.
// index_data is an array of unsigned int offsets into vertex_data.
glDrawElements(GL_TRIANGLES, num_vertices, GL_UNSIGNED_INT, NULL);

glDisableVertexAttribArray(position_attrib_index);
glDisableVertexAttribArray(texcoord_attrib_index);
glDisableVertexAttribArray(normal_attrib_index);

API Version Support

OpenGL ES API Version
Function Name 2.0 3.0 3.1
glDrawElements
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