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The glSelectBuffer function establishes a buffer for selection mode values.

void glSelectBuffer(
  GLsizei size,
  GLuint *buffer


The size of buffer.
Returns the selection data.


The glSelectBuffer function has two parameters: buffer is a pointer to an array of unsigned integers, and size indicates the size of the array. The buffer parameter returns values from the name stack (see glInitNames, glLoadName, glPushName) when the rendering mode is GL_SELECT (see glRenderMode). The glSelectBuffer function must be issued before selection mode is enabled, and it must not be issued while the rendering mode is GL_SELECT.

Selection is used by a programmer to determine which primitives are drawn into some region of a window. The region is defined by the current modelview and perspective matrices.

In selection mode, no pixel fragments are produced from rasterization. Instead, if a primitive intersects the clip volume defined by the viewing frustum and the user-defined clipping planes, this primitive causes a selection hit. (With polygons, no hit occurs if the polygon is culled.) When a change is made to the name stack, or when glRenderMode is called, a hit record is copied to buffer if any hits have occurred since the last such event (either a name stack change or a glRenderMode call). The hit record consists of the number of names in the name stack at the time of the event; followed by the minimum and maximum depth values of all vertices that hit since the previous event; followed by the name stack contents, bottom name first.

Returned depth values are mapped such that the largest unsigned integer value corresponds to window coordinate depth 1.0, and zero corresponds to window coordinate depth 0.0.

An internal index into buffer is reset to zero whenever selection mode is entered. Each time a hit record is copied into buffer, the index is incremented to point to the cell just past the end of the block of namesthat is, to the next available cell. If the hit record is larger than the number of remaining locations in buffer, as much data as can fit is copied, and the overflow flag is set. If the name stack is empty when a hit record is copied, that record consists of zero followed by the minimum and maximum depth values.

Selection mode is exited by calling glRenderMode with an argument other than GL_SELECT. Whenever glRenderMode is called while the render mode is GL_SELECT, it returns the number of hit records copied to buffer, resets the overflow flag and the selection buffer pointer, and initializes the name stack to be empty. If the overflow bit was set when glRenderMode was called, a negative hit record count is returned.

The contents of buffer are undefined until glRenderMode is called with an argument other than GL_SELECT.

The glBegin/glEnd primitives and calls to glRasterPos can result in hits.

The following function retrieves information related to glSelectBuffer:

glGet with argument GL_NAME_STACK_DEPTH

Error Codes

The following are the error codes generated and their conditions.

Error code Condition
GL_INVALID_VALUE size was negative.
GL_INVALID_OPERATION glSelectBuffer was called while the render mode was GL_SELECT, or if glRenderMode was called with argument GL_SELECT before glSelectBuffer was called at least once.
GL_INVALID_OPERATION glSelectBuffer was called between a call to glBegin and the corresponding call to glEnd.


  Windows NT/2000: Requires Windows NT 3.5 or later.
  Windows 95/98: Requires Windows 95 or later. Available as a redistributable for Windows 95.
  Header: Declared in Gl.h.
  Library: Use Opengl32.lib.

See Also

glBegin, glEnd, glFeedbackBuffer, glInitNames, glLoadName, glPushName, glRenderMode


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