glStencilOp -- set stencil test actions


void glStencilOp(GLenum fail,
                 GLenum zfail,
                 GLenum zpass)


Specifies the action to take when the stencil test fails. Six symbolic constants are accepted: GL_KEEP, GL_ZERO, GL_REPLACE, GL_INCR, GL_DECR, and GL_INVERT.

Specifies stencil action when the stencil test passes, but the depth test fails. zfail accepts the same symbolic constants as fail.

Specifies stencil action when both the stencil test and the depth test pass, or when the stencil test passes and either there is no depth buffer or depth testing is not enabled. zpass accepts the same symbolic constants as fail.


Stenciling, like z-buffering, enables and disables drawing on a per-pixel basis. You draw into the stencil planes using GL drawing primitives, then render geometry and images, using the stencil planes to mask out portions of the screen. Stenciling is typically used in multipass rendering algorithms to achieve special effects, such as decals, outlining, and constructive solid geometry rendering.

The stencil test conditionally eliminates a pixel based on the outcome of a comparison between the value in the stencil buffer and a reference value. The test is enabled with glEnable and glDisable calls with argument GL_STENCIL_TEST, and controlled with glStencilFunc.

glStencilOp takes three arguments that indicate what happens to the stored stencil value while stenciling is enabled. If the stencil test fails, no change is made to the pixel's color or depth buffers, and fail specifies what happens to the stencil buffer contents. The six possible actions are as follows:

Keeps the current value.

Sets the stencil buffer value to zero.

Sets the stencil buffer value to ref, as specified by glStencilFunc.

Increments the current stencil buffer value. Clamps to the maximum representable unsigned value.

Decrements the current stencil buffer value. Clamps to zero.

Bitwise inverts the current stencil buffer value.
Stencil buffer values are treated as unsigned integers. When incremented and decremented, values are clamped to 0 and 2^n - 1, where n is the value returned by querying GL_STENCIL_BITS.

The other two arguments to glStencilOp specify stencil buffer actions should subsequent depth buffer tests succeed (zpass) or fail (zfail). (See glDepthFunc.) They are specified using the same six symbolic constants as fail. Note that zfail is ignored when there is no depth buffer, or when the depth buffer is not enabled. In these cases, fail and zpass specify stencil action when the stencil test fails and passes, respectively.


Initially the stencil test is disabled. If there is no stencil buffer, no stencil modification can occur and it is as if the stencil tests always pass, regardless of any call to glStencilOp.


GL_INVALID_ENUM is generated if fail, zfail, or zpass is any value other than the six defined constant values.

GL_INVALID_OPERATION is generated if glStencilOp is called between a call to glBegin and the corresponding call to glEnd.


glGet with argument GL_STENCIL_FAIL
glGet with argument GL_STENCIL_PASS_DEPTH_PASS
glGet with argument GL_STENCIL_PASS_DEPTH_FAIL
glGet with argument GL_STENCIL_BITS
glIsEnabled with argument GL_STENCIL_TEST


glAlphaFunc, glBlendFunc, glDepthFunc, glEnable, glLogicOp, glStencilFunc

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© 1995 Uwe Behrens. All rights reserved.