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OpenGL layered animation in opengl

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Hi there; I am somewhat new to opengl (I have used in my courses for my homeworks long ago, after that I had used OpenSceneGraph, now need to turn back to opengl, and cannot remember much about it). I would like to make an animation with different layers on it. I will try to explain my situation with a simpler example; Assume there are layers that has different geometric figures on it. Assume one has squares another has rectangles another has circles on it. And each layer is updated seperately from each other in seperate times. But when I need to update the scene lets say because of a change in squares I need to draw all the layers in order from the beginning even though the circles layer hasnt been changed yet. Is there a way to hold the layers in a thing something like buffer, that has the drawing of the layer? So when I need to update one of the layers, I just need to refresh the buffer of the corressponding layer and just tell opengl to use the already drawn buffers for the other unchanged ones. Something similar to display list concept?? I have talked much, I wasnt much able to tell the situation but hope you understand. Thanks in advance Melis

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