I am trying to stream data to a buffer which I have bound to a VAO vertex buffer binding point that I want to access through vertex attributes in the shader.

Usually I stream to buffers which I have bound as GL_UNIFORM_BUFFERs and I do it like this:

//create an immutable data storage 
glNamedBufferStorage(uboID, capacity, data, GL_MAP_WRITE_BIT | GL_MAP_PERSISTENT_BIT | GL_MAP_COHERENT_BIT);

//map entire storage forever
mappedPtr = glMapNamedBufferRange(uboID, 0, capacity,  GL_MAP_WRITE_BIT | GL_MAP_PERSISTENT_BIT | GL_MAP_COHERENT_BIT);

//bind buffer to target(GL_UNIFORM_BUFFER) binding point
glBindBufferBase(GL_UNIFORM_BUFFER, uboBinding, uboID);

//bind shader interface block to target binding point
glUniformBlockBinding(shaderProgramID, blockIndex, uboBinding);

Now the uniform block can be accessed in the shader program and i can stream to it like so:

//copy data to mapped pointer at stream offset
memcpy(mappedPtr + uploadOffset, &uploadData[0], uploadSize);

//This is the important part: tell the shader which range of the buffer to use
glBindBufferRange(GL_UNIFORM_BUFFER, uboBinding, uboID, uploadOffset, uploadSize);

//increment offset
uploadOffset += uploadSize;

If I bind a buffer to a VAO and access its data as vertex attributes in the shader, I don´t know how to give the shader the range in which the updated data can be found. I can give an offset when binding a buffer to a VAO when calling glVertexArrayVertexBuffer, but it has a few more parameters and does not seem like the right thing to call every frame. I have not gotten it to work with it, too.

Is there something like glBindBufferRange for vertex buffers bound to VAOs?


1 Answer 1


you can use separate attrib format so you can update the offset and stride of the vbo serpately from the format:

//during initialization

// set the details of a single attribute
glVertexArrayAttribFormat(vao, posAttrLoc, 3, GL_FLOAT, false, offsetof(Vertex, pos));
// which buffer binding point it is attached to
glVertexArrayAttribBinding(vao, posAttrLoc, vertexBindingPoint);
glEnableVertexArrayAttrib(vao, posAttrLoc);

then to set the vbo:

glVertexArrayVertexBuffer(vao, vertexBindingPoint, mesh.vbo, mesh.vboOffset, sizeof(Vertex));
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is the best way with a combination of DSA and vertex attrib binding. With the old API you'd need to adjust the pointers to offset to the start of the new range. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 21, 2017 at 15:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but isnt there some way to modify only the vboOffset parameter? I feel like glVertexArrayVertexBuffer is more like an initialization function and there must be something more designated I can use..(right?) \$\endgroup\$
    – stimulate
    Aug 21, 2017 at 15:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @stimulate it's the most designated you can get, it's really meant to be able to bind a new set of vbos to a vao without having to respecify the format. Which would help drivers avoid having to patch shaders. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 21, 2017 at 15:37

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