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OpenGL Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL, Version 4.3, Eighth Edition by Bill M. Licea-Kane, John M. Kessenich, Graham Sellers, Dave Shreiner

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Restarting Primitives

As you start working with larger sets of vertex data, you are likely to find that you need to make numerous calls to the OpenGL drawing routines, usually rendering the same type of primitive (such as GL_TRIANGLE_STRIP) that you used in the previous drawing call. Of course, you can use the glMultiDraw*() routines, but they require the overhead of maintaining the arrays for the starting index and length of each primitive.

OpenGL has the ability to restart primitives within the same drawing command by specifying a special value, the primitive restart index, which is specially processed by OpenGL. When the primitive restart index is encountered in a draw call, a new rendering primitive of the same type is started with the vertex ...

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