OpenGL extension NV.float_buffer
This module customises the behaviour of the OpenGL.raw.WGL.NV.float_buffer to provide a more Python-friendly API
Overview (from the spec)
This extension builds upon NV_fragment_program to provide a framebuffer and texture format that allows fragment programs to read and write unconstrained floating point data.
In unextended OpenGL, most computations dealing with color or depth buffers are typically constrained to operate on values in the range results are also typically clamped to the range [0,1 . Color, texture, and depth buffers themselves also hold values mapped to the range [0,1].
The NV_fragment_program extension provides a general computational model that supports floating-point numbers constrained only by the precision of the underlying data types. The quantites computed by fragment programs do not necessarily correspond in number or in range to conventional attributes such as RGBA colors or depth values. Because of the range and precision constraints imposed by conventional fixed-point color buffers, it may be difficult (if not impossible) to use them to implement certain multi-pass algorithms.
To enhance the extended range and precision available through fragment programs, this extension provides floating-point RGBA color buffers that can be used instead of conventional fixed-point RGBA color buffers. A floating-point RGBA color buffer consists of one to four floating-point components stored in the 16- or 32-bit floating-point formats (fp16 or fp32) defined in the NV_half_float and NV_fragment_program extensions.
When a floating-point color buffer is used, the results of fragment programs, as written to the "x", "y", "z", and "w" components of the o or o[COLH output registers, are written directly to the color buffer without any clamping or modification. Certain per-fragment operations are bypassed when rendering to floating-point color buffers.
A floating-point color buffer can also be used as a texture map, either by reading back the contents and then using conventional TexImage calls, or by using the buffer directly via the ARB_render_texture extension or the EXT_framebuffer_object extension.
This extension has many uses. Some possible uses include:
(1) Multi-pass algorithms with arbitrary intermediate results that don't have to be artifically forced into the range [0,1]. In addition, intermediate results can be written without having to worry about out-of-range values.
(2) Deferred shading algorithms where an expensive fragment program is executed only after depth testing is fully complete. Instead, a simple program is executed, which stores the parameters necessary to produce a final result. After the entire scene is rendered, a second pass is executed over the entire frame buffer to execute the complex fragment program using the results written to the floating-point color buffer in the first pass. This will save the cost of applying complex fragment programs to fragments that will not appear in the final image.
(3) Use floating-point texture maps to evaluate functions with arbitrary ranges. Arbitrary functions with a finite domain can be approximated using a texture map holding sample results and piecewise linear approximation.
There are several significant limitations on the use of floating-point color buffers. First, floating-point color buffers do not support frame buffer blending. Second, floating-point texture maps do not support mipmapping or any texture filtering other than NEAREST. Third, floating-point texture maps must be 2D, and must use the NV_texture_rectangle extension.
The official definition of this extension is available here: