Microsoft DirectX 9.0

Create an Index Buffer

Create an index buffer object by calling the IDirect3DDevice9::CreateIndexBuffer method, which accepts five parameters. The first parameter specifies the index buffer length, in bytes.

The second parameter is a set of usage controls. Among other things, its value determines whether the vertices being referred to by the indices are capable of containing clipping information. To improve performance, specify D3DUSAGE_DONOTCLIP when clipping is not required.

The D3DUSAGE_SOFTWAREPROCESSING flag can be set when mixed-mode or software vertex processing (D3DCREATE_MIXED_VERTEXPROCESSING / D3DCREATE_SOFTWARE_VERTEXPROCESSING) is enabled for that device. D3DUSAGE_SOFTWAREPROCESSING must be set for buffers to be used with software vertex processing in mixed mode, but it should not be set for the best possible performance when using hardware index processing in mixed mode (D3DCREATE_HARDWARE_VERTEXPROCESSING). However, setting D3DUSAGE_SOFTWAREPROCESSING is the only option when a single buffer is used with both hardware and software vertex processing. D3DUSAGE_SOFTWAREPROCESSING is allowed for mixed and software devices.

It is possible to force vertex and index buffers into system memory by specifying D3DPOOL_SYSTEMMEM, even when the index processing is being done in hardware. This is a way to avoid overly large amounts of page-locked memory when a driver is putting these buffers into AGP memory.

The third parameter is either the D3DFMT_INDEX16 or D3DFMT_INDEX32 member of the D3DFORMAT enumerated type that specifies the size of each index.

The fourth parameter is a member of the D3DPOOL enumerated type that tells the system where in memory to place the new index buffer.

The final parameter that IDirect3DDevice9::CreateIndexBuffer accepts is the address of a variable that is filled with a pointer to the new IDirect3DIndexBuffer9 interface of the vertex buffer object, if the call succeeds.

The following C++ code example shows what creating a index buffer might look like in code.

 * For the purposes of this example, the d3dDevice variable is the 
 * address of an IDirect3DDevice9 interface exposed by a 
 * Direct3DDevice object, g_IB is a variable of type 

if( FAILED( d3dDevice->CreateIndexBuffer( 16384 *sizeof(WORD),
                                            D3DUSAGE_WRITEONLY, D3DFMT_INDEX16,
                                            D3DPOOL_DEFAULT, &g_IB ) ) )
    return E_FAIL;

Index Processing Requirements

The performance of index processing operations depends heavily on where the index buffer exists in memory and what type of rendering device is being used. Applications control the memory allocation for index buffers when they are created. When the D3DPOOL_SYSTEMMEM memory flag is set, the index buffer is created in system memory. When the D3DPOOL_DEFAULT memory flag is used, the device driver determines where the memory for the index buffer is best allocated, often referred to as driver-optimal memory. Driver-optimal memory can be local video memory, nonlocal video memory, or system memory.

Setting the D3DUSAGE_SOFTWAREPROCESSING behavior flag when calling the IDirect3DDevice9::CreateIndexBuffer method specifies that the index buffer is to be used with software vertex processing. This flag is required in mixed mode vertex processing (D3DCREATE_MIXED_VERTEXPROCESSING) when software vertex processing is used.

The application can directly write indices to a index buffer allocated in driver-optimal memory. This technique prevents a redundant copy operation later. This technique does not work well if your application reads data back from an index buffer, because read operations done by the host from driver-optimal memory can be very slow. Therefore, if your application needs to read during processing or writes data to the buffer erratically, a system-memory index buffer is a better choice.

Note  Always use D3DPOOL_DEFAULT, except when you don't want to expend video memory or expand large amounts of page-locked RAM when the driver is putting vertex or index buffers into AGP memory.

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