SoShapeHints(3) The SoShapeHints class is a node containing hints about how to render geometry.


#include <Inventor/nodes/SoShapeHints.h>

Inherits SoNode.

Public Types


enum ShapeType { UNKNOWN_SHAPE_TYPE = SoShapeHintsElement::UNKNOWN_SHAPE_TYPE, SOLID = SoShapeHintsElement::SOLID }

enum FaceType { UNKNOWN_FACE_TYPE = SoShapeHintsElement::UNKNOWN_FACE_TYPE, CONVEX = SoShapeHintsElement::CONVEX }

enum WindingType { NO_WINDING_TYPE = 0 }

Public Member Functions

virtual SoType getTypeId (void) const

SoShapeHints (void)

virtual void doAction (SoAction *action)

virtual void GLRender (SoGLRenderAction *action)

virtual void callback (SoCallbackAction *action)

virtual void getBoundingBox (SoGetBoundingBoxAction *action)

virtual void pick (SoPickAction *action)

Static Public Member Functions

static SoType getClassTypeId (void)

static void initClass (void)

Public Attributes

SoSFEnum vertexOrdering

SoSFEnum shapeType

SoSFEnum faceType

SoSFEnum windingType

SoSFBool useVBO

SoSFFloat creaseAngle

Protected Member Functions

virtual const SoFieldData * getFieldData (void) const

virtual ~SoShapeHints ()

Static Protected Member Functions

static const SoFieldData ** getFieldDataPtr (void)

Additional Inherited Members

Detailed Description

The SoShapeHints class is a node containing hints about how to render geometry.

The SoShapeHints node is used to set up clues to the rendering subsystem about how particular aspects of the subsequent geometry in the scene graph should be drawn.

The default settings of the rendering system is tuned towards programmer convenience. For instance, the default is to render both sides of all polygons to make sure we avoid any 'holes' in the geometry if the vertex ordering should happen to differ for different polygons.

If the programmer gives up some of this convenience and uses SoShapeHints nodes to more closely specify information about the scene graph geometry, the clues given by the SoShapeHints node(s) will then be used by the rendering subsystem to avoid certain costly operations. Significant gains in rendering speed could be seen as a result.

Be aware that the way backface culling and two-sided lighting is decided by the rendering system is not at all intuitive. Here are the common rules of how primitive shapes will render themselves with regard to how the SoShapeHints::vertexOrdering and SoShapeHints::shapeType fields are set:

  • vertexOrdering == CLOCKWISE or COUNTERCLOCKWISE, shapeType == SOLID: causes primitives to be backface culled and rendered with one-sided lighting.

  • vertexOrdering == CLOCKWISE or COUNTERCLOCKWISE, shapeType == UNKNOWN_SHAPE_TYPE: primitives are not backface culled, and they are rendered with two-sided lighting.

  • vertexOrdering == UNKNOWN_ORDERING, any shapeType: primitives are not backface culled, and they are rendered with one-sided lighting. The OpenGL vertex ordering will be set to counter clockwise ordering.

The UNKNOWN_ORDERING enum has a special and non-intuitive meaning. The ordering is really set to counter clockwise -- in OpenGL and when generating normals. However, if you want to render your geometry with one-sided lighting and backface culling disabled, you have to use this enum value, and your polygons need to be in counter clockwise ordering.


    ShapeHints {
        vertexOrdering UNKNOWN_ORDERING
        shapeType UNKNOWN_SHAPE_TYPE
        faceType CONVEX
        creaseAngle 0


Member Enumeration Documentation

enum SoShapeHints::VertexOrdering

Enumeration of available ways to specify ordering of vertices for a polygon.


Ordering not known, render both sides of the polygon.
Vertices are specified in a clockwise order.
Vertices are specified in a counter-clockwise order.

enum SoShapeHints::ShapeType

Enumeration of different shape types.


Nothing known about the shape, be conservative when rendering.
The subsequent shapes in the graph are all known to be completely 'closed', solid 3D shapes. Backface culling will be done if vertexOrdering is known.

enum SoShapeHints::FaceType

Enumeration of polygon face types.


Signifies: nothing is known about subsequent polygon data, be conservative when rendering.

All polygons in the scene will be analyzed to see if they needs to be tessellated (broken up) into triangles before passed on to the underlying immediate mode rendering system.

The OpenGL rendering system handles most complex polygon types, but not all: it can for instance have problems with many-sided, concave polygons (concave polygons are 'hollow', that is: rounded inwards). Coin's internal tessellator will most often handle the cases that OpenGL fails on.

So if you are seeing weird artifacts in how complex polygons are rendered, try to change the SoShapeHints::faceType field to this value and see if they are then rendered correctly.

Beware that turning on this functionality might have the effect of making the rendering performance worse. If it has a noticable effect on your particular scenegraph, we advise that you investigate whether you could change how the polygons are generated for Coin rendering and then avoid using this flag.

Subsequent faces are all convex, so turn off the check for and tessellation of inconvex faces.

Subsequent polygons from faceset-type nodes (like SoFaceSet and SoIndexedFaceSet) will be sent unmodified to OpenGL, thereby assuming that the polygons are in a form handled by OpenGL.

Constructor & Destructor Documentation

SoShapeHints::SoShapeHints (void)


SoShapeHints::~SoShapeHints () [protected], [virtual]


Member Function Documentation

SoType SoShapeHints::getClassTypeId (void) [static]

This static method returns the SoType object associated with objects of this class.

Reimplemented from SoNode.

SoType SoShapeHints::getTypeId (void) const [virtual]

Returns the type identification of an object derived from a class inheriting SoBase. This is used for run-time type checking and 'downward' casting.

Usage example:

  void foo(SoNode * node)
    if (node->getTypeId() == SoFile::getClassTypeId()) {
      SoFile * filenode = (SoFile *)node;  // safe downward cast, knows the type

For application programmers wanting to extend the library with new nodes, engines, nodekits, draggers or others: this method needs to be overridden in all subclasses. This is typically done as part of setting up the full type system for extension classes, which is usually accomplished by using the pre-defined macros available through for instance Inventor/nodes/SoSubNode.h (SO_NODE_INIT_CLASS and SO_NODE_CONSTRUCTOR for node classes), Inventor/engines/SoSubEngine.h (for engine classes) and so on.

For more information on writing Coin extensions, see the class documentation of the toplevel superclasses for the various class groups.

Implements SoBase.

const SoFieldData ** SoShapeHints::getFieldDataPtr (void) [static], [protected]

This API member is considered internal to the library, as it is not likely to be of interest to the application programmer.

Reimplemented from SoNode.

const SoFieldData * SoShapeHints::getFieldData (void) const [protected], [virtual]

Returns a pointer to the class-wide field data storage object for this instance. If no fields are present, returns NULL.

Reimplemented from SoFieldContainer.

void SoShapeHints::initClass (void) [static]

Sets up initialization for data common to all instances of this class, like submitting necessary information to the Coin type system.

Reimplemented from SoNode.

void SoShapeHints::doAction (SoAction *action) [virtual]

This function performs the typical operation of a node for any action.

Reimplemented from SoNode.

void SoShapeHints::GLRender (SoGLRenderAction *action) [virtual]

Action method for the SoGLRenderAction.

This is called during rendering traversals. Nodes influencing the rendering state in any way or who wants to throw geometry primitives at OpenGL overrides this method.

Reimplemented from SoNode.

void SoShapeHints::callback (SoCallbackAction *action) [virtual]

Action method for SoCallbackAction.

Simply updates the state according to how the node behaves for the render action, so the application programmer can use the SoCallbackAction for extracting information about the scene graph.

Reimplemented from SoNode.

void SoShapeHints::getBoundingBox (SoGetBoundingBoxAction *action) [virtual]

Action method for the SoGetBoundingBoxAction.

Calculates bounding box and center coordinates for node and modifies the values of the action to encompass the bounding box for this node and to shift the center point for the scene more towards the one for this node.

Nodes influencing how geometry nodes calculates their bounding box also overrides this method to change the relevant state variables.

Reimplemented from SoNode.

void SoShapeHints::pick (SoPickAction *action) [virtual]

Action method for SoPickAction.

Does common processing for SoPickAction action instances.

Reimplemented from SoNode.

Member Data Documentation

SoSFEnum SoShapeHints::vertexOrdering

Specifies how vertices are ordered for polygon faces.

Set this field to SoShapeHints::CLOCKWISE or SoShapeHints::COUNTERCLOCKWISE if possible to turn on backface culling and thereby optimize rendering.

Default value is SoShapeHints::UNKNOWN_ORDERING.

SoSFEnum SoShapeHints::shapeType

Hint about whether or not shapes are known to be 'closed'. Default value is SoShapeHints::UNKNOWN_SHAPE_TYPE.

SoSFEnum SoShapeHints::faceType

Hint about whether or not polygon faces are known to be convex. Default value is SoShapeHints::CONVEX.

SoSFFloat SoShapeHints::creaseAngle

When normals are automatically generated by Coin (i.e. SoNormal nodes are not used), this is the smallest angle between two faces where we would still calculate normals to do flatshading.

If the angle between the normals of two neighboring faces is less than the value of this field, the faces will be smoothshaded around their common edge.

The angle is specified in radians, and the default value is 0.0, meaning no smoothing will be done by default.


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