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I've encountered this glitch a few times in various video games and other apps with 3D graphics. It causes things to get stretched all the way to the vanishing point of the scene, usually towards the sky. The affected object can seemingly be anything: a model or a part of it, a foliage, a patch of texture, the terrain, anything.

In video games, these "spikes" don't seem to have physics. Other objects don't collide or interact with them. Which leads me to believe that it's graphics-related. The model affected can move freely, and the stretching always goes to the same point no matter how the model moves around.

What are they and what causes them?

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  • $\begingroup$ It sounds like local coordinates of the object is not transformed into world space through a transformation matrix or something similar related to not doing proper transformations between coordinate systems involved in the scene $\endgroup$
    – Kaan E.
    Aug 21, 2021 at 18:30

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Hard to say without seeing a visual of the glitch, but what you describe sounds like one or more vertices of the affected model having bad data, or coming out bad from the vertex shader somehow. The bad vertices might be getting some of their components set to extremely large or infinite floating-point values, or their w component set to 0 (which has a similar effect). This would lead to all the triangles attached to that vertex shooting off to infinity somewhere, creating the "stretching" effect.

If you're seeing this across multiple games and applications, it may be an indicator of bad GPU hardware. If there is a portion of the GPU's memory that doesn't function correctly, it may corrupt data stored there. If that happens to be the vertex buffer of some model, that could create this effect.

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  • $\begingroup$ I have seen this happen on hardware that has been "overclocked" and has slowly been destroyed by to much voltage and/or heat. Also hardware that has other random failures. Like a hard drive with a bad connection that randomly and rarely sends corrupt data. (I actually had this happen recently, replacing the cable fixed it!) $\endgroup$
    – pmw1234
    Aug 26, 2021 at 9:53
  • $\begingroup$ That's a good point - the PCI connection of the graphics card could also be at issue, if it's not seated quite right. I've had something like that happen with DRAM sticks the last time I built a PC - it was randomly glitchy until I reseated the sticks. $\endgroup$ Aug 26, 2021 at 20:26

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