glVertexPointer — define an array of vertex coordinates

C Specification

void glVertexPointer(GLint size,
 GLenum type,
 GLsizei stride,
 const void * pointer);



Specifies the number of coordinates per vertex. Must be 2, 3, or 4. The initial value is 4.


Specifies the data type of each vertex coordinate in the array. Symbolic constants GL_BYTE, GL_SHORT, and GL_FIXED, are accepted. However, the initial value is GL_FLOAT.

The common profile accepts the symbolic constant GL_FLOAT as well.


Specifies the byte offset between consecutive vertices. If stride is 0, the vertices are understood to be tightly packed in the array. The initial value is 0.


Specifies a pointer to the first coordinate of the first vertex in the array. The initial value is 0.


glVertexPointer specifies the location and data of an array of vertex coordinates to use when rendering. size specifies the number of coordinates per vertex and type the data type of the coordinates. stride specifies the byte stride from one vertex to the next allowing vertices and attributes to be packed into a single array or stored in separate arrays. (Single-array storage may be more efficient on some implementations.)

When a vertex array is specified, size, type, stride, and pointer are saved as client-side state.

If the vertex array is enabled, it is used when glDrawArrays, or glDrawElements is called. To enable and disable the vertex array, call glEnableClientState and glDisableClientState with the argument GL_VERTEX_ARRAY. The vertex array is initially disabled and isn't accessed when glDrawArrays or glDrawElements is called.

Use glDrawArrays to construct a sequence of primitives (all of the same type) from prespecified vertex and vertex attribute arrays. Use glDrawElements to construct a sequence of primitives by indexing vertices and vertex attributes.


glVertexPointer is typically implemented on the client side.


GL_INVALID_VALUE is generated if size is not 2, 3, or 4.

GL_INVALID_ENUM is generated if type is not an accepted value.

GL_INVALID_VALUE is generated if stride is negative.

See Also

glColorPointer, glDrawArrays, glDrawElements, glEnable, glNormalPointer, glTexCoordPointer


Copyright © 2003-2004 Silicon Graphics, Inc. This document is licensed under the SGI Free Software B License. For details, see