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OpenGL 1.1 for AIX: Reference Manual

glDrawArrays Subroutine


Renders primitives from array data.


OpenGL C bindings library: libGL.a

C Syntax

void glDrawArrays(GLenum mode,
                  GLint first,
                  GLsizei count)


mode Specifies what kind of primitives to render. Symbolic constants GL_POINTS, GL_LINE_STRIP, GL_LINE_LOOP, GL_LINES, GL_TRIANGLE_STRIP, GL_TRIANGLE_FAN, GL_TRIANGLES, GL_QUAD_STRIP, GL_QUADS, and GL_POLYGON are accepted.
first Specifies the starting index in the enabled arrays.
count Specifies the number of indices to be rendered.


The glDrawArrays subroutine lets you specify multiple geometric primitives with very few subroutine calls. Instead of calling a GL procedure to pass each individual vertex, normal, texture coordinate, edge flage, or color, you can prespecify separate arrays of vertexes, normals, and colors and use them to construct a sequence of primitives with a single call to glDrawArrays.

When glDrawArrays is called, it uses count sequential elements from each enabled array to construct a sequence of geometric primitives, beginning with element first. The mode parameter specifies what kind of primitives are constructed, and how the array elements construct these primitives. If GL_VERTEX_ARRAY is not enabled, no geometric primitives are generated.

Vertex attributes that are modified by glDrawArrays have an unspecified value after glDrawArrays returns. For example, if GL_COLOR_ARRAY is enabled, the value of the current color is undefined after glDrawArrays executes. Attributes that are not modified remain well defined.


The glDrawArrays subroutine is available only if the GL version is 1.1 or greater.

The glDrawArrays subroutine is included in display lists. If glDrawArrays is entered into a display list, the necessary array data (determined by the array pointers and enables) is also entered into the display list. Because the array pointers and enables are client side state, their values affect display lists when the lists are created, not when the lists are executed.


GL_INVALID_ENUM is generated if mode is not an accepted value.

GL_INVALID_VALUE is generated if count is negative.

GL_INVALID_OPERATION is generated if glDrawArrays is executed between the execution of glBegin and the corresponding glEnd.

Related Information

The glArrayElement subroutine, glColorPointer subroutine, glDrawElements subroutine, glEdgeFlagPointer subroutine, glGetPointerv subroutine, glIndexPointer subroutine, glNormalPointer subroutine, glTexCoordPointer subroutine, glVertexPointer subroutine.

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