Specifying the Polygon to Be Tessellated

You specify a polygon (possibly containing holes) to be tessellated using:

For polygons without holes, the specification process is exactly as in OpenGL:

  1. Start with gluBeginPolygon.
  2. Call gluTessVertex for each vertex in the boundary.
  3. End the polygon with a call to gluEndPolygon.

If a polygon consists of multiple contours, including holes and holes within holes, you specify the contours one after the other, preceding each by gluNextContour. When you call gluEndPolygon, it signals the end of the final contour and starts the tessellation. You can omit the call to gluNextContour before the first contour. The gluBeginPolygon function begins the specification of a polygon to be tessellated and associates a tessellation object, tessobj, with it. The callback functions to be used are those that you bind to the tessellation object with gluTessCallback.

The gluTessVertex function specifies a vertex in the polygon to be tessellated. Call gluTessVertex for each vertex in the polygon. The function's tessobj parameter is the tessellation object to use, v contains the three-dimensional vertex coordinates, and data is an arbitrary pointer that is sent to the callback associated with GLU_VERTEX. Typically, data contains vertex data, texture coordinates, color information, or whatever else the application may require.

The gluNextContour function marks the beginning of the next contour when multiple contours make up the boundary of the polygon to be tessellated. The function's type parameter can be GLU_EXTERIOR, GLU_INTERIOR, GLU_CCW, GLU_CW, or GLU_UNKNOWN. These constants serve only as hints to the tessellation. If you get them right, the tessellation might go faster. If you get them wrong, they're ignored, and the tessellation still works.

For a polygon with holes, one contour is the exterior contour, and the others are interior. If you don't call gluNextContour immediately after gluBeginPolygon, the first contour is assumed to be of type GLU_EXTERIOR.

GLU_CW and GLU_CCW indicate clockwise- and counterclockwise-oriented polygons. Choosing which are clockwise and which are counterclockwise is arbitrary in three dimensions, but in any plane, there are two different orientations; use the GLU_CW and GLU_CCW types consistently. Use GLU_UNKNOWN if you don't know which to use.

The gluEndPolygon function indicates the end of the polygon specification. It also indicates that the tessellation can begin using the tessellation object tessobj.