Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » Z »

Z-buffering

An algorithm used in 3-D graphics to determine which objects, or parts of objects, are visible and which are hidden behind other objects. With Z-buffering, the graphics processor stores the Z-axis value of each pixel in a special area of memory called the Z-buffer . Different objects can have the same x- and y-coordinate values, but with different z-coordinate values. The object with the lowest z-coordinate value is in front of the other objects, and therefore that's the one that's displayed.

An alternate algorithm for hiding objects behind other objects is called Z-sorting. The Z-sorting algorithm simply displays all objects serially, starting with those objects furthest back (with the largest Z-axis values). The Z-sorting algorithm does not require a Z-buffer, but it is slow and does not render intersecting objects correctly.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
The Five Generations of Computers

Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the current devices that we use today. Read More »

Small Business Marketing's Greatest Hits

The following compilation of small business marketing tips highlights some of the expert advice published over at Small Business Computing. Read More »

13 Best Free Android Apps

From secure messaging to document editing, our top free must-have apps have been rated, reviewed and named the best free Android apps of 2015. Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
5 Best Cloud Storage Services

With cost and security in mind, we look at five cloud storage options that will suit the needs of most home and SMB owners. Read More »

Windows 10 Tips for Desktop PC

Five basic tips to help you customize Windows 10 on your desktop PC. Read More »

29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students

From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »