Browse Definitions:
Definition

z-buffering

Z-buffering is an algorithm used in 3-D graphics to ensure that perspective works the same way in the virtual world as it does in the real one: a solid object in the foreground will block the view of one behind it. You've seen this illustrated in the real world when someone stands between you and the television screen. Z-buffering is a type of algorithm known as a Visual Surface Determination (VSD) algorithm.

Z-buffering works by testing pixel depth and comparing the current position ( z coordinate ) with stored data in a buffer (called a z-buffer ) that holds information about each pixel's last postion. The pixel in the closer position to the viewer is the one that will be displayed, just as the person in front of the television is what the viewer sees rather than the screen.

Z-buffering is one of three VSD algorithms commonly used for this purpose. The other two, BSP trees and depth sorting, work with polygons and consequently are less effective for portrayal of movement and overlap. Since it works at the pixel level, z-buffering can be demanding in terms of memory and processing time. Nevertheless, its more complex and life-like simulation of real-world object dynamics ensures its continuing popularity as a 3-D graphics development tool.

This was last updated in September 2005

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • incident management plan (IMP)

    An incident management plan (IMP), sometimes called an incident response plan or emergency management plan, is a document that ...

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

SearchStorage

  • network-attached storage (NAS)

    Network-attached storage (NAS) is dedicated file storage that enables multiple users and heterogeneous client devices to retrieve...

  • SSD write cycle

    An SSD write cycle is the process of programming data to a NAND flash memory chip in a solid-state storage device.

  • data storage

    Data storage is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information on electromagnetic, optical ...

Close