16.3. Occlusion Queries

Occlusion queries track the number of samples that pass the per-fragment tests for a set of drawing commands. As such, occlusion queries are only available on queue families supporting graphics operations. The application can then use these results to inform future rendering decisions. An occlusion query is begun and ended by calling vkCmdBeginQuery and vkCmdEndQuery, respectively. When an occlusion query begins, the count of passing samples always starts at zero. For each drawing command, the count is incremented as described in Sample Counting. If flags does not contain VK_QUERY_CONTROL_PRECISE_BIT an implementation may generate any non-zero result value for the query if the count of passing samples is non-zero.


Not setting VK_QUERY_CONTROL_PRECISE_BIT mode may be more efficient on some implementations, and should be used where it is sufficient to know a boolean result on whether any samples passed the per-fragment tests. In this case, some implementations may only return zero or one, indifferent to the actual number of samples passing the per-fragment tests.

When an occlusion query finishes, the result for that query is marked as available. The application can then either copy the result to a buffer (via vkCmdCopyQueryPoolResults) or request it be put into host memory (via vkGetQueryPoolResults).


If occluding geometry is not drawn first, samples can pass the depth test, but still not be visible in a final image.