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I understand that the normalized device coordinates are the result of the perspective divide of clip space coordinates and allow for an easy mapping of the xy coordinates to a physical screen. What I do not get however is why we need to normalize the z value? Why not fill the depth buffer with the actual camera space depths? Also by normalizing the z value we need to additionally keep track of the camera space depth for interpolation because that value gets lost in ndc space.

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  • $\begingroup$ Normalized coordinates can be represented using fixed point, i.e. bounded integers. Integer arithmetic is more amenable to fast hardware implementations. $\endgroup$
    – user1703
    Jun 11, 2023 at 9:33

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