Use in 3D Scenes

Depth testing can also be used when rendering the 2D User Interface (UI) elements in 3D games. Render the opaque parts of the UI with a depth that is very close to near the clip plane, before rendering the 3D scene.

Now render the 3D scene as normal, and any parts behind the opaque UI elements will be skipped. Finally, the remaining transparent parts of the UI can be rendered and blended on top of the 3D output.

To ensure that the 3D geometry does not intersect the UI elements, glDepthRange() should be used to limit the range of depth values emitted by the 3D pass very slightly. This approach guarantees that the UI elements are always closer to the near clip plane than the 3D rendering.

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