Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Methods for Quantifying and Characterizing Errors in Pixel-Based 3D Rendering



John G. Hagedorn, Judith E. Terrill, Adele P. Peskin, James J. Filliben


We present methods for measuring errors in the rendering of three-dimensional points, line segments, and polygons in  pixel-based computer graphics systems.  We present error metrics for each of these three cases.  These methods are applied to rendering with OpenGL on two common hardware platforms under several rendering conditions.  Results are presented and differences in measured errors are analyzed and characterized.  We discuss possible extensions of this error analysis approach to other aspects of the process of generating visual representations of synthetic scenes.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -


rendering measurement, pixel measurement, metrology, computer graphics, scientific visualization, virtual measurement


Hagedorn, J. , Terrill, J. , Peskin, A. and Filliben, J. (2008), Methods for Quantifying and Characterizing Errors in Pixel-Based 3D Rendering, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 19, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created July 1, 2008, Updated February 17, 2017