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I am using OpenGL ES 2.0 I have a bunch a quads to be drawn, would love to be able to have to pass only 4 vertices per quad as if I were using GL_QUADS, but basically I just want to know the best way of drawing a bunch of separate quads.

So far what I've found I could do: -GL_TRIANGLES(6 vertices per quad) -Degenerate GL_TRIANGLE_STRIP(6 vertices per quad)

Possibities I've found: -GL_TRIANGLE_STRIPS with a special index value that resets quad strip(this would mean 5 indexes per quad, but I dont think this is possible is OpenGL ES 2.0)

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4 Answers 4

up vote 21 down vote accepted

Just use index buffer and GL_TRIANGLES. In this case you need 4 vertices + 6 indices per quad (6 additional indices may sound large overhead but in reality it is not - once you have constructed your index buffer you don't have to touch it again). See this page for more information (search for glDrawElements)

Simple example code:

GLfloat vertices[] = {-1, -1, 0, // bottom left corner
                      -1,  1, 0, // top left corner
                       1,  1, 0, // top right corner
                       1, -1, 0}; // bottom right corner

GLubyte indices[] = {0,1,2, // first triangle (bottom left - top left - top right)
                     0,2,3}; // second triangle (bottom left - top right - bottom right)

glVertexPointer(3, GL_FLOAT, 0, vertices);
glDrawElements(GL_TRIANGLES, 6, GL_UNSIGNED_BYTE, indices);

Also, if you are drawing just one quad you need only 4 vertices to draw it with triangle strips (as shown in wikipedia) but I guess you already knew this.

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Using index buffers isn't necessarily faster, as indicated in the Apple docs, "For best performance, your models should be submitted as a single unindexed triangle strip using glDrawArrays".

So, while a GL_TRIANGLE_STRIP will do it in 4 vertices without needing an index buffer, and you can use an index buffer, it's pretty lame to try to "save" repeating 2 vertices. For this reason, I'd suggest you draw 2 separate GL_TRIANGLES and repeat the 2 vertices on the diagonal.

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2  
Um, no. What that doc says is that your models be submitted as a single INDEXED triangle strip. And the very next sentence is, "To avoid specifying data for the same vertex multiple times in the vertex buffer, use a separate index buffer and draw the triangle strip using the glDrawElements function". Which is exactly what you decided was 'lame'. –  davidf2281 Mar 2 at 13:30

The big gain on desktop is to move the data into GL_STATIC_DRAW VBOs. Presumably this is true on iPhone's MBX GPU too.

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Using GL_TRIANGLE_FAN for a quad uses 4 vertices, not 6.

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Yep, but so does GL_TRIANGLE_STRIP, as other answers have already pointed out. –  Anko Jul 31 at 19:27

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