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OpenGL ES max active textures in OpenGL ES 2.0

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I've been making pretty good use of texture atlases in my current game, but as I find myself forced to use another texture (to enable generating tex coords for point sprites), I'm wondering if there may be a better way than currently batching by texture, and calling glBind before each batch.

Instead is it more efficient to pre-bind a whole set of textures to all the available active texture slots, then simply only read from the ones I'm interested in in the fragment shaders (or call glUniform to change the active texture used by the frag shader). Is there any performance penalty to have a load of textures bound, but not being used?

Is this a practical way to work on GLES 2.0, and are there any typical figures for how many active texture slots should be available on mobiles? I'm getting the impression the minimum is 8.

This may make a difference as I'm having to do several render passes on some frames.

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So, the maximum number of active textures is not the same for every device, you'll need to check it using GL_MAX_COMBINED_TEXTURE_IMAGE_UNITS:


As for binding all those texture, do you really need to bind all of them if your not using all of them? As far as i know this *could* be a hit to performance, the drivers may move the resources to a more accessible location for the shader when they are bound. I don't think this is the right approach.

I think your original method of tiling the textures is a better approach if you want to bind less often.

Another way you can do it is to dynamically create these huge textures. basically each sprite you have can be their own resource, then you copy those resources into the larger texture that you will bind and use for that frame. you can keep them in that texture until you need more space for new sprites to be rendered in the frame, then just overwrite "tiles" in that texture that you are no longer using.

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vertexList[currentVertex + 1] = vertexArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).indexNumberList.get(0)).y; vertexList[currentVertex + 2] = vertexArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).indexNumberList.get(0)).z; vertexList[currentVertex + 3] = vertexArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).indexNumberList.get(0)).w; vertexList[currentVertex + 4] = vertexArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).indexNumberList.get(1)).x; vertexList[currentVertex + 5] = vertexArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).indexNumberList.get(1)).y; vertexList[currentVertex + 6] = vertexArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).indexNumberList.get(1)).z; vertexList[currentVertex + 7] = vertexArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).indexNumberList.get(1)).w; vertexList[currentVertex + 8] = vertexArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).indexNumberList.get(2)).x; vertexList[currentVertex + 9] = vertexArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).indexNumberList.get(2)).y; vertexList[currentVertex + 10] = vertexArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).indexNumberList.get(2)).z; vertexList[currentVertex + 11] = vertexArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).indexNumberList.get(2)).w; nextFace++; } numberOfVertices = vertexList.length / POSITION_COMPONENT_COUNT_3D; nextFace = 0; for (int currentIndex = 0; currentIndex < indexList.length; currentIndex += NUMBER_OF_SIDES_PER_FACE){ indexList[currentIndex + 0] = faceArrayList.get(nextFace).indexNumberList.get(0).shortValue(); indexList[currentIndex + 1] = faceArrayList.get(nextFace).indexNumberList.get(1).shortValue(); indexList[currentIndex + 2] = faceArrayList.get(nextFace).indexNumberList.get(2).shortValue(); } step = COLOR_COMPONENT_COUNT * NUMBER_OF_SIDES_PER_FACE; for (int currentVertex = 0; currentVertex < colorList.length; currentVertex += step){ colorList[currentVertex + 0] = red; colorList[currentVertex + 1] = green; colorList[currentVertex + 2] = blue; colorList[currentVertex + 3] = alpha; colorList[currentVertex + 4] = red; colorList[currentVertex + 5] = green; colorList[currentVertex + 6] = blue; colorList[currentVertex + 7] = alpha; colorList[currentVertex + 8] = red; colorList[currentVertex + 9] = green; colorList[currentVertex + 10] = blue; colorList[currentVertex + 11] = alpha; } nextFace = 0; step = TEXTURE_COORDINATES_COMPONENT_COUNT * NUMBER_OF_SIDES_PER_FACE; for (int currentVertex = 0; currentVertex < textureCoordList.length; currentVertex += step){ textureCoordList[currentVertex + 0] = textureCoordArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).textureCoordNumberList.get(0)).tu * mult; textureCoordList[currentVertex + 1] = textureCoordArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).textureCoordNumberList.get(0)).tv * mult; textureCoordList[currentVertex + 2] = textureCoordArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).textureCoordNumberList.get(1)).tu * mult; textureCoordList[currentVertex + 3] = textureCoordArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).textureCoordNumberList.get(1)).tv * mult; textureCoordList[currentVertex + 4] = textureCoordArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).textureCoordNumberList.get(2)).tu * mult; textureCoordList[currentVertex + 5] = textureCoordArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).textureCoordNumberList.get(2)).tv * mult; nextFace++; } nextFace = 0; step = NORMAL_COMPONENT_COUNT * NUMBER_OF_SIDES_PER_FACE; for (int currentVertex = 0; currentVertex < normalList.length; currentVertex += step){ normalList[currentVertex + 0] = normalArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).normalNumberList.get(0)).x; normalList[currentVertex + 1] = normalArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).normalNumberList.get(0)).y; normalList[currentVertex + 2] = normalArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).normalNumberList.get(0)).z; normalList[currentVertex + 3] = normalArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).normalNumberList.get(1)).x; normalList[currentVertex + 4] = normalArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).normalNumberList.get(1)).y; normalList[currentVertex + 5] = normalArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).normalNumberList.get(1)).z; normalList[currentVertex + 6] = normalArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).normalNumberList.get(2)).x; normalList[currentVertex + 7] = normalArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).normalNumberList.get(2)).y; normalList[currentVertex + 8] = normalArrayList.get(faceArrayList.get(nextFace).normalNumberList.get(2)).z; nextFace++; } vertexBuffer = ByteBuffer.allocateDirect(vertexList.length * BYTES_PER_FLOAT).order(ByteOrder.nativeOrder()).asFloatBuffer(); indexBuffer = ByteBuffer.allocateDirect(indexList.length * BYTES_PER_FLOAT).order(ByteOrder.nativeOrder()).asShortBuffer(); colorBuffer = ByteBuffer.allocateDirect(colorList.length * BYTES_PER_FLOAT).order(ByteOrder.nativeOrder()).asFloatBuffer(); textureCoordBuffer = ByteBuffer.allocateDirect(textureCoordList.length * BYTES_PER_FLOAT).order(ByteOrder.nativeOrder()).asFloatBuffer(); normalBuffer = ByteBuffer.allocateDirect(normalList.length * BYTES_PER_FLOAT).order(ByteOrder.nativeOrder()).asFloatBuffer(); vertexBuffer.put(vertexList).position(0); indexBuffer.put(indexList).position(0); colorBuffer.put(colorList).position(0); textureCoordBuffer.put(textureCoordList).position(0); normalBuffer.put(normalList).position(0); createVertexBuffer(); uMVPMatrixHandle = glGetUniformLocation(program, U_MVPMATRIX); uMVMatrixHandle = glGetUniformLocation(program, U_MVMATRIX); uTextureUnitHandle = glGetUniformLocation(program, U_TEXTURE_UNIT); aPositionHandle = glGetAttribLocation(program, A_POSITION); aColorHandle = glGetAttribLocation(program, A_COLOR); aTextureCoordinateHandle = glGetAttribLocation(program, A_TEXTURE_COORDINATES); aNormalHandle = glGetAttribLocation(program, A_NORMAL); glEnableVertexAttribArray(aPositionHandle); glEnableVertexAttribArray(aColorHandle); glEnableVertexAttribArray(aTextureCoordinateHandle); glEnableVertexAttribArray(aNormalHandle); glActiveTexture(GL_TEXTURE0); glUniform1i(uTextureUnitHandle, 0); } catch(IOException e){ } } catch (Resources.NotFoundException nfe){ throw new RuntimeException("Resource not found: " + resourceID, nfe); } return 1; } public void draw(){ glEnable(GL_DEPTH_TEST); bindData(); glBindBuffer(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, vertexBufferObject[0]); glDrawArrays(GL_TRIANGLES, 0, faceArrayList.size() * NUMBER_OF_SIDES_PER_FACE); glBindBuffer(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, 0); } public void bindData(){ int offset = 0; glBindBuffer(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, vertexBufferObject[0]); glVertexAttribPointer(aPositionHandle, POSITION_COMPONENT_COUNT_3D, GL_FLOAT, false, POSITION_COMPONENT_STRIDE_3D, offset); offset += POSITION_COMPONENT_COUNT_3D; glVertexAttribPointer(aColorHandle, COLOR_COMPONENT_COUNT, GL_FLOAT, false, COLOR_COMPONENT_STRIDE, numberOfVertices * offset * BYTES_PER_FLOAT); offset += COLOR_COMPONENT_COUNT; glVertexAttribPointer(aTextureCoordinateHandle, TEXTURE_COORDINATES_COMPONENT_COUNT, GL_FLOAT, false, TEXTURE_COORDINATE_COMPONENT_STRIDE, numberOfVertices * offset * BYTES_PER_FLOAT); offset += TEXTURE_COORDINATES_COMPONENT_COUNT; glVertexAttribPointer(aNormalHandle, NORMAL_COMPONENT_COUNT, GL_FLOAT, false, NORMAL_COMPONENT_STRIDE, numberOfVertices * offset * BYTES_PER_FLOAT); glBindBuffer(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, 0); ///////////////////////////////////////////////////// /* vertexBuffer.position(0); glVertexAttribPointer(aPositionHandle, POSITION_COMPONENT_COUNT_3D, GL_FLOAT, false, POSITION_COMPONENT_STRIDE_3D, vertexBuffer); colorBuffer.position(0); glVertexAttribPointer(aColorHandle, COLOR_COMPONENT_COUNT, GL_FLOAT, false, COLOR_COMPONENT_STRIDE, colorBuffer); textureCoordBuffer.position(0); glVertexAttribPointer(aTextureCoordinateHandle, TEXTURE_COORDINATES_COMPONENT_COUNT, GL_FLOAT, false, TEXTURE_COORDINATE_COMPONENT_STRIDE, textureCoordBuffer); normalBuffer.position(0); glVertexAttribPointer(aNormalHandle, NORMAL_COMPONENT_COUNT, GL_FLOAT, false, NORMAL_COMPONENT_STRIDE, normalBuffer); */ } public void createVertexBuffer(){ glGenBuffers(1, vertexBufferObject, 0); glBindBuffer(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, vertexBufferObject[0]); glBufferData(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER,numberOfVertices * (POSITION_COMPONENT_COUNT_3D + COLOR_COMPONENT_COUNT + TEXTURE_COORDINATES_COMPONENT_COUNT + NORMAL_COMPONENT_COUNT) * BYTES_PER_FLOAT, null, GL_STATIC_DRAW); int offset = 0; glBufferSubData(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, offset, numberOfVertices * POSITION_COMPONENT_COUNT_3D * BYTES_PER_FLOAT, vertexBuffer); offset += POSITION_COMPONENT_COUNT_3D; glBufferSubData(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, numberOfVertices * offset * BYTES_PER_FLOAT, numberOfVertices * COLOR_COMPONENT_COUNT * BYTES_PER_FLOAT, colorBuffer); offset += COLOR_COMPONENT_COUNT; glBufferSubData(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, numberOfVertices * offset * BYTES_PER_FLOAT, numberOfVertices * TEXTURE_COORDINATES_COMPONENT_COUNT * BYTES_PER_FLOAT, textureCoordBuffer); offset += TEXTURE_COORDINATES_COMPONENT_COUNT; glBufferSubData(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, numberOfVertices * offset * BYTES_PER_FLOAT, numberOfVertices * NORMAL_COMPONENT_COUNT * BYTES_PER_FLOAT, normalBuffer); glBindBuffer(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, 0); }  
    • By cebugdev
      hi all,
      how to implement this type of effect ? 
      Also what is this effect called? this is considered volumetric lighting?
      what are the options of doing this? 
      a. billboard? but i want this to have the 3D effect that when we rotate the camera we can still have that 3d feel.
      b. a transparent 3d mesh? and we can animate it as well?
      need your expert advise.
      2. how to implement things like fireball projectile (shot from a monster) (billboard texture or a 3d mesh)?
      Note: im using OpenGL ES 2.0 on mobile. 
    • By Psychopathetica
      Hey guys. Wow it's been super long since I been here.
      Anyways, I'm having trouble with my 2D OrthoM matrix setup for phones / tablets. Basically I wan't my coordinates to start at the top left of the screen. I also want my polygons to remain squared regardless if you have it on portrait or landscape orientation. At the same time, if I translate the polygon to the middle of the screen, I want it to come to the middle regardless if I have it in portrait or landscape mode. So far I'm pretty close with this setup:
      private float aspectRatio; @Override public void onSurfaceChanged(GL10 glUnused, int width, int height) { Log.d("Result", "onSurfacedChanged()"); glViewport(0, 0, width, height); if (MainActivity.orientation == Configuration.ORIENTATION_PORTRAIT) { Log.d("Result", "onSurfacedChanged(PORTRAIT)"); aspectRatio = ((float) height / (float) width); orthoM(projectionMatrix, 0, 0f, 1f, aspectRatio, 0f, -1f, 1f); } else{ Log.d("Result", "onSurfacedChanged(LANDSCAPE)"); aspectRatio = ((float) width / (float) height); orthoM(projectionMatrix, 0, 0f, aspectRatio, 1f, 0f, -1f, 1f); } } When I translate the polygon using TranslateM( ) however, goes to the middle in portrait mode but in landscape, it only moved partially to the right, as though portrait mode was on some of the left of the screen. The only time I can get the translation to match is if in Landscape I move the aspectRatio variable in OrthoM( ) from the right arguement to the bottom arguement, and make right be 1f. Works but now the polygon is stretched after doing this. Do I just simply multiply the aspectRatio to the translation values only when its in Landscape mode to fix this or is there a better way?
      if (MainActivity.orientation == Configuration.ORIENTATION_PORTRAIT) { Matrix.translateM(modelMatrix, 0, 0.5f, 0.5f * aspectRatio, 0f); } else { Matrix.translateM(modelMatrix, 0, 0.5f * aspectRatio, 0.5f, 0f); } Thanks in advance.
    • By Hashbrown
      I'm trying to capture a frame with gl.readPixels and send the data to my server. For testing purposes, I tried rendering a texture with the same Uint8Array I used with gl.readPixels, but unfortunately can't get the texture to show an image.   Let me share the steps I'm taking.
      I made sure to allocate memory outside of the game loop:
      const width = Game.Renderer.width; const height = Game.Renderer.height; let pixels = new Uint8Array(4 * width * height); And before i unbind the frame buffer in the drawing function, I pick up the pixels:
      gl.readPixels(0, 0, width, height, gl.RGBA, gl.UNSIGNED_BYTE, pixels); if (stream) { if (stream.ready) stream.socket.send(pixels); } This is also where I send the pixels to the server.
      In my render function I have a function updating the texture I use for displaying video, or in this case: a different image every frame:
      gl.texImage2D(gl.TEXTURE_2D, 0, gl.RGBA, gl.RGBA, gl.UNSIGNED_BYTE, this._video) This works perfectly with a video or an image element, but if I pass in my uint8array no image is rendered. 
      The plan is to have the server send that same array to the other clients so they can use it to update their textures. Hopefully this makes sense. Thanks!
      BTW: Not sure why my thread appeared two times, my connection timed out and I guess I pressed it two times. My apologies mods, I hid the duplicate thread.
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