OpenGL Tesselation Techniques Comparison

There is a variety of different tesselation techniques you can use within openGL. This post should give a overview over the different techniques currently available:

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1. External Library:

  • Pro’s: More flexibel usage

  • Con’s: Doesn’t use GPU computing capabilities

2. Static pipeline functionality provided by GLU the GLUtesselator:

<a href="/?p=466">OpenGL GLU Tesselation Method Without DisplayLists</a>

  • Pro’s: Simple to use

  • Con’s: Doesn’t use GPU computing capabilities

3. Using the GL_AMD_vertex_shader_tessellator extension from AMD / ATI

<a href="http://www.opengl.org/registry/specs/AMD/vertex_shader_tessellator.txt">Spec: vertex_shader_tessellator</a> <a href="/?p=460">OpenGL AMD Tesselation Example (CatmullCark SubDivision) - Linux</a>

  • Pro’s: Does use GPU computing features

  • Con’s: Does not work with Nvidia cards at all

4. Using OpenGL 3.2 Geometry Shader Extensions:

<a href="http://www.opengl.org/registry/specs/EXT/geometry_shader4.txt">Spec: geometry_shader4</a> <a href="http://wiki.delphigl.com/index.php/shader_tesselation">http://wiki.delphigl.com/index.php/shader_tesselation</a>;

  • Pro’s: Does use GPU computing features

  • Con’s: GPU must Shader Model 4