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PAiNIC

What's a framebuffer?

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It seems like a silly question, but a Google search didn't provide much of an answer. Background: I'm looking to retreive the output from a pixel shader and copy it into a texture without drawing it to the screen (by screen I mean FrontBuffer). I assume that creating a separate render target and rendering to that would work, but I'm updating a 3D volume texture and am worried that changing the render target for each slice of the texture will incur too much overhead. Question: A suggested solution is to copy the contents of the frame buffer into the texture to be updated. What is the framebuffer? Should I be retreiving the Backbuffer, FrontBuffer or RenderTargetData if I just want the output result of a pixel shader?

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Hi there Painic,
How are you doing?

The Problem
What is the "frame buffer"?

The Solution
The Frame Buffer
"The frame buffer resides in the 3D card's onboard video memory. This is the portion of video memory where the colors are stored and displayed on your monitor."

I hope this helps buddy.
Take care.

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The frame buffer is the front buffer. When you do your rendering it ends up in (one of) the back buffer(s), when you call Present() the back buffer becomes the front buffer (either by copying one to the other or just swapping). You can get your data from either the front buffer or back buffer, they're usually equivalent, unless you use fullscreen antialiasing.

For your specific problem I would use render to texture. (Er, does that work with 3D textures? I don't even know. If not, use a plain render target and copy to texture.)

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