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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. 

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

Edge List

Getting Direct Access to the DepthBuffer in DirectX10 - 2011
Hierarchical Z-Buffer Occlusion Culling - 2010
Packing Depth into Color - 2010
Depth sorting alpha blended objects - 2009

Subpages (1): Z-Buffering