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What does the closest triangle mean here?


I'm not entirely sure what is happening in this slide. Is the all depth buffer like an rgb array with "darker" or more saturated colors representing something closer? If so, how exactly do triangles play a role in here?


Does the depth mean the distance between the object and the camera? Or thickness of the shape? Or logical overlap order of shapes?


How can we determine the depth? Is it built into the image information or are we deciding at what intervals they should be?


Why do we call the storage of depth "buffer"?