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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_LINE_STRIP_ADJACENCY, GL_LINES_ADJACENCY, GL_TRIANGLE_STRIP, GL_TRIANGLE_FAN, GL_TRIANGLES, GL_TRIANGLE_STRIP_ADJACENCY and GL_TRIANGLES_ADJACENCY 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 pointer to the location where the indices are stored.

Description

glDrawElements specifies multiple geometric primitives with very few subroutine calls. Instead of calling a GL function to pass each individual vertex, normal, texture coordinate, edge flag, or color, you can prespecify separate arrays of vertices, normals, and so on, 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.

Vertex attributes that are modified by glDrawElements have an unspecified value after glDrawElements returns. Attributes that aren't modified maintain their previous values.

Notes

GL_LINE_STRIP_ADJACENCY, GL_LINES_ADJACENCY, GL_TRIANGLE_STRIP_ADJACENCY and GL_TRIANGLES_ADJACENCY are available only if the GL version is 3.2 or greater.

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 geometry shader is active and mode is incompatible with the input primitive type of the geometry shader in the currently installed program object.

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.

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);
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