What is "inefficient" about TestRenderToMemory.java?

I’m working on a project which requires offscreen buffering and accessing the pixel values in the rendered image, so I’m trying to follow TestRenderToMemory.java as a guideline. I noticed that the code comment says that “some parts are done inefficiently” to improve readability. Performance is crucial to me, but I don’t understand what is inefficient about the code. I’ll repost it here:

package jme3test.post;

import com.jme3.app.SimpleApplication;
import com.jme3.material.Material;
import com.jme3.math.ColorRGBA;
import com.jme3.math.FastMath;
import com.jme3.math.Quaternion;
import com.jme3.math.Vector3f;
import com.jme3.post.SceneProcessor;
import com.jme3.renderer.Camera;
import com.jme3.renderer.RenderManager;
import com.jme3.renderer.ViewPort;
import com.jme3.renderer.queue.RenderQueue;
import com.jme3.scene.Geometry;
import com.jme3.scene.shape.Box;
import com.jme3.system.AppSettings;
import com.jme3.system.JmeContext.Type;
import com.jme3.texture.FrameBuffer;
import com.jme3.texture.Image.Format;
import com.jme3.texture.Texture2D;
import com.jme3.util.BufferUtils;
import com.jme3.util.Screenshots;
import java.awt.Color;
import java.awt.Dimension;
import java.awt.Graphics;
import java.awt.Graphics2D;
import java.awt.event.WindowAdapter;
import java.awt.event.WindowEvent;
import java.awt.image.BufferedImage;
import java.nio.ByteBuffer;
import javax.swing.JFrame;
import javax.swing.JPanel;
import javax.swing.SwingUtilities;

 * This test renders a scene to an offscreen framebuffer, then copies
 * the contents to a Swing JFrame. Note that some parts are done inefficently,
 * this is done to make the code more readable.
public class TestRenderToMemory extends SimpleApplication implements SceneProcessor {

    private Geometry offBox;
    private float angle = 0;

    private FrameBuffer offBuffer;
    private ViewPort offView;
    private Texture2D offTex;
    private Camera offCamera;
    private ImageDisplay display;

    private static final int width = 800, height = 600;

    private final ByteBuffer cpuBuf = BufferUtils.createByteBuffer(width * height * 4);
    private final byte[] cpuArray = new byte[width * height * 4];
    private final BufferedImage image = new BufferedImage(width, height,

    private class ImageDisplay extends JPanel {

        private long t;
        private long total;
        private int frames;
        private int fps;

        public void paintComponent(Graphics gfx) {
            Graphics2D g2d = (Graphics2D) gfx;

            if (t == 0)
                t = timer.getTime();

//            g2d.setBackground(Color.BLACK);
//            g2d.clearRect(0,0,width,height);

            synchronized (image){
                g2d.drawImage(image, null, 0, 0);

            long t2 = timer.getTime();
            long dt = t2 - t;
            total += dt;
            frames ++;
            t = t2;

            if (total > 1000){
                fps = frames;
                total = 0;
                frames = 0;

            g2d.drawString("FPS: "+fps, 0, getHeight() - 100);

    public static void main(String[] args){
        TestRenderToMemory app = new TestRenderToMemory();
        AppSettings settings = new AppSettings(true);
        settings.setResolution(1, 1);

    public void createDisplayFrame(){
        SwingUtilities.invokeLater(new Runnable(){
            public void run(){
                JFrame frame = new JFrame("Render Display");
                display = new ImageDisplay();
                display.setPreferredSize(new Dimension(width, height));
                frame.addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter(){
                    public void windowClosed(WindowEvent e){

    public void updateImageContents(){
        renderer.readFrameBuffer(offBuffer, cpuBuf);

        synchronized (image) {
            Screenshots.convertScreenShot(cpuBuf, image);    

        if (display != null)

    public void setupOffscreenView(){
        offCamera = new Camera(width, height);

        // create a pre-view. a view that is rendered before the main view
        offView = renderManager.createPreView("Offscreen View", offCamera);
        offView.setClearFlags(true, true, true);
        // this will let us know when the scene has been rendered to the 
        // frame buffer

        // create offscreen framebuffer
        offBuffer = new FrameBuffer(width, height, 1);

        //setup framebuffer's cam
        offCamera.setFrustumPerspective(45f, 1f, 1f, 1000f);
        offCamera.setLocation(new Vector3f(0f, 0f, -5f));
        offCamera.lookAt(new Vector3f(0f, 0f, 0f), Vector3f.UNIT_Y);

        //setup framebuffer's texture
//        offTex = new Texture2D(width, height, Format.RGBA8);

        //setup framebuffer to use renderbuffer
        // this is faster for gpu -> cpu copies
//        offBuffer.setColorTexture(offTex);
        //set viewport to render to offscreen framebuffer

        // setup framebuffer's scene
        Box boxMesh = new Box(Vector3f.ZERO, 1,1,1);
        Material material = assetManager.loadMaterial("Interface/Logo/Logo.j3m");
        offBox = new Geometry("box", boxMesh);

        // attach the scene to the viewport to be rendered

    public void simpleInitApp() {

    public void simpleUpdate(float tpf){
        Quaternion q = new Quaternion();
        angle += tpf;
        angle %= FastMath.TWO_PI;
        q.fromAngles(angle, 0, angle);


    public void initialize(RenderManager rm, ViewPort vp) {

    public void reshape(ViewPort vp, int w, int h) {

    public boolean isInitialized() {
        return true;

    public void preFrame(float tpf) {

    public void postQueue(RenderQueue rq) {

     * Update the CPU image's contents after the scene has
     * been rendered to the framebuffer.
    public void postFrame(FrameBuffer out) {

    public void cleanup() {


Is the inefficiency in how it renders it to JPanel, or in how the byte array is acquired? I’m afraid I’m not experienced enough to know how to optimize either one, so any insight or guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks!

As a general rule of thumb, taking data out of the GPU while avoiding performance penalties is difficult. It is best if you avoid doing that completely, i.e. doing whatever it is you need to do on the GPU via pixel shaders or other means.

As for the comment, I think it refers specifically to how the image is drawn. For Java2D, real time rendering is typically best done via the Canvas and BufferStrategy classes, etc. The AwtPanel class has a slightly more efficient implementation of this.

Also, in my 3.1 experimental branch, I started implementing an even more efficient version of AwtPanel called SwingPanel which uses GPU fences and pixel buffers, although its a little buggy at the moment…