The Accessor class is a helper class that describes how a buffers memory is structured and should be accessed. Accessors are used.

The type of values, number of values per element, any offset and strides, etc. as well as some additional parameters relating to how the GPU should access buffer data (instance divisors, integer normalization etc).

By using multiple Accessor instances, the application can defined different "views" of the data in a single buffer.

Accessors are immutable by design. Once they have been created they cannot be changed.

Accessors can be resolved (merged) into a new Accessor. This is useful since while some accessor properties can be extracted directly from a program's shaders (and some can be extracted when data is set to the buffer), some properties needs to be set by the application.


PropertyCategoryAuto DeduceDefaultComment
offsetdata layoutN/A0Byte offset to start of data in buffer
stridedata layoutN/A0Extra bytes between each successive data element
typedata typeVertex Shader/Buffer.setDataGL.FLOATLow level data type (GL.BYTE, GL.SHORT, ...)
sizedata typeVertex Shader1Components per element (1-4)
divisorinstancingAttribute name0Enables/disables instancing
normalizedata accessN/AfalseNormalize integers to [-1,1], or [0,1] if unsigned
integerdata accessN/AfalseDisable conversion of integer values to floats WebGL 2


  • type and size values for attributes are read from the shaders when a program is created and linked, and normally do not need to be supplied. Also any attribute with instance in its name will automatically be given an instance divisor of 1.
  • divisor is automatically set to 1 for any attribute that has some capitalization of instance in the name.
  • offset and stride are typically used to interleave data in buffers and are normally left undefined (i.e. 0).
  • normalize and integer need to be enabled by applications through an Accessor.


Byte offset to start of data in buffer



Low level data type (GL.BYTE, GL.SHORT, GL.FLOAT, GL.INT, ...)


Number of (1-4 values per vertex)

divisor: Number

Enables/disables instancing.


If true normalizes integer values (GL.BYTE, ...). Signed values are normalized to [-1,1] and unsigned values are normalized to [0,1].

integer WebGL 2

Disable conversion of integer values to floats.

Static Methods

Accessor.merge(accessor1, accessor2, ...) : Accessor

Merges a number of partial accessors into a merged accessor that can be used to set vertex attributes. Any unspecified accessor properties will be set to their default values.

Note: Most applications do not need to merge accessors directly. Merging is done by the VertexArray.setAttributes method.


constructor(props : Object)

Creates a new partial Accessor. The new object will be immutable, i.e. its values cannot be changed after creation.


Returns the number of bytes per "element", based on the type field in the accessor. Asserts if type is not set.


Returns the number of bytes per "vertex", based on the type and size fields in the accessor. Asserts if type and size are not set.

Remarks: Auto-deduction

  • type and size are automatically inferred (through WebGL APIs that provide access to metadata extracted during compilation and linking of shader programs).
  • divisor - if attribute name starts with instance... this will be automatically set to 1.
  • offset and stride are assumed to be 0 which corresponds to the simple non-interleaved case.
  • integer - if type is GL.INT or GL.UINT, then integer is automatically true, as floating point shader inputs cannot be mapped to such attributes.