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Visible Surface Determination

The Z-Buffer sure made life easy

Hidden surface removal is about getting the correct pixel shown on screen when there are overlapping surfaces. Z-buffer is now the standard.

Binary space partitioning - 1980
By splitting the polygons along the planes of the polygons one can create a BSP tree that can provide a depth sort of all surfaces from any point. Slow process that is not run time friendly.

Painter's algorithm - 1972
Sort the surfaces on back to front order and then draw them. 

Warnock algorithm - 1969
This algorithm split the view-port in four equal parts and check what polygons is in each area. If it is only a single polygon then it is draw. If it more polygons then it keeps splitting each area into four until there is a single polygon left or it is down to an area of a single pixel. If it reach a single pixel the polygon that is closest to the screen is drawn.

S-Buffer or Segmented-Buffer - 1999
Edge List

Back-face removal
Avoids drawing surfaces that face away from the camera as they can not be seen.

Subpages (1): Z-Buffering