Copyright by Eric Lengyel

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Chapter 8. Visibility Determination

When it comes to the performance of a real-time 3D engine, the single most important component of the rendering architecture is visibility determination. Given a particular camera position and orientation, every engine must be able to efficiently determine which parts of the world are potentially visible and therefore should be rendered. This problem is usually attacked from the opposite perspective—the engine determines which parts of the world are definitely not visible and renders whatever is left over.

Most engines perform visibility determination at multiple levels. The general goal is to determine what world geometry cannot possibly intersect the view frustum. At the smallest scale, 3D hardware performs ...

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