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OpenGL 16bit depth buffer issue

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Hi, I'm developing a small application on an iPhone, which has a 16 bit depth buffer. I obviously ran into z-buffer fighting when rendering the terrain. Reading some at www.opengl.org, they advise to use a multipass tecnique: 12.080 There is no way that a standard-sized depth buffer will have enough precision for my astronomically large scene. What are my options? The typical approach is to use a multipass technique. The application might divide the geometry database into regions that don't interfere with each other in Z. The geometry in each region is then rendered, starting at the furthest region, with a clear of the depth buffer before each region is rendered. This way the precision of the entire depth buffer is made available to each region. They refer to "clear the depth buffer" between each region is rendered, but I don't understand exactly: shall I render first the furthest region, then use glClearDepth and then render the closest objects ?

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