21.5. Quad Tessellation

If the tessellation primitive mode is Quads, a rectangle is subdivided into a collection of triangles covering the area of the original rectangle. First, the original rectangle is subdivided into a regular mesh of rectangles, where the number of rectangles along the u = 0 and u = 1 (vertical) and v = 0 and v = 1 (horizontal) edges are derived from the first and second inner tessellation levels, respectively. All rectangles, except those adjacent to one of the outer rectangle edges, are decomposed into triangle pairs. The outermost rectangle edges are subdivided independently, using the first, second, third, and fourth outer tessellation levels to control the number of subdivisions of the u = 0 (left), v = 0 (bottom), u = 1 (right), and v = 1 (top) edges, respectively. The area between the inner rectangles of the mesh and the outer rectangle edges are filled by triangles produced by joining the vertices on the subdivided outer edges to the vertices on the edge of the inner rectangle mesh.

If both clamped inner tessellation levels and all four clamped outer tessellation levels are exactly one, only a single triangle pair covering the outer rectangle is generated. Otherwise, if either clamped inner tessellation level is one, that tessellation level is treated as though it were originally specified as 1 + ε and will result in a two- or three-segment subdivision depending on the tessellation spacing. When used with fractional odd spacing, the three-segment subdivision may produce inner vertices positioned on the edge of the rectangle.

If any tessellation level is greater than one, tessellation begins by subdividing the u = 0 and u = 1 edges of the outer rectangle into m segments using the clamped and rounded first inner tessellation level and the tessellation spacing. The v = 0 and v = 1 edges are subdivided into n segments using the second inner tessellation level. Each vertex on the u = 0 and v = 0 edges are joined with the corresponding vertex on the u = 1 and v = 1 edges to produce a set of vertical and horizontal lines that divide the rectangle into a grid of smaller rectangles. The primitive generator emits a pair of non-overlapping triangles covering each such rectangle not adjacent to an edge of the outer rectangle. The boundary of the region covered by these triangles forms an inner rectangle, the edges of which are subdivided by the grid vertices that lie on the edge. If either m or n is two, the inner rectangle is degenerate, and one or both of the rectangle’s edges consist of a single point. This subdivision is illustrated in Figure Inner Quad Tessellation.

Figure 21.3. Inner Quad Tessellation


After the area corresponding to the inner rectangle is filled, the tessellator must produce triangles to cover the area between the inner and outer rectangles. To do this, the subdivision of the outer rectangle edge above is discarded. Instead, the u = 0, v = 0, u = 1, and v = 1 edges are subdivided according to the first, second, third, and fourth outer tessellation levels, respectively, and the tessellation spacing. The original subdivision of the inner rectangle is retained. The area between the outer and inner rectangles is completely filled by non-overlapping triangles. Two of the three vertices of each triangle are adjacent vertices on a subdivided edge of one rectangle; the third is one of the vertices on the corresponding edge of the other triangle. If either edge of the innermost rectangle is degenerate, the area near the corresponding outer edges is filled by connecting each vertex on the outer edge with the single vertex making up the inner edge.

The algorithm used to subdivide the rectangular domain in (u,v) space into individual triangles is implementation-dependent. However, the set of triangles produced will completely cover the domain, and no portion of the domain will be covered by multiple triangles. The order in which the generated triangles passed to subsequent pipeline stages and the order of the vertices in those triangles are both implementation-dependent. However, when depicted in a manner similar to Inner Quad Tessellation, the order of the vertices in the generated triangles will be either all clockwise or all counter-clockwise, according to the vertex order layout declaration.