Double buffering in .NET

Ever wondered how to double buffer with a Graphics object so your GDI+ based game/control doesn't flicker annoyingly? Me too.  There's probably a built in method that's easier, but this is how I managed to get it to work smoothly, it's nice and simple and allows you to draw anywhere that offers up the normal CreateGraphics method.

First, set up a bitmap to act as your backbuffer:


Bitmap BackBuffer = new Bitmap(this.ClientSize.Width,this.ClientSize.Height);
Graphics DrawingArea = Graphics.FromImage(BackBuffer);


Dim BackBuffer As New Bitmap(Me.ClientSize.Width,Me.ClientSize.Height)
Dim DrawingArea As Graphics = Graphics.FromImage(BackBuffer)

Next, you want to draw to your graphics object as normal, so DrawingArea.Clear(Color.Black) and such.

Once you've completed drawing the object that you want to smoothly move, simply draw the pre-rendered bitmap over the top of the Graphics object you want to update:


Graphics Viewable = Me.CreateGraphics();
Viewable.DrawImageUnscaled(BackBuffer, 0, 0);


Dim Viewable As Graphics = Me.CreateGraphics()
Viewable.DrawImageUnscaled(BackBuffer, 0, 0)

You can also use other techniques to increase the performance, such as reusing the backbuffer by defining it in the class you're using it in - this means .NET won't need to recreate it repeatedly.

Updated: I have just noticed there's a Control.SetStyle method that automates double buffering in many situations where you are drawing to a control - place this in the forms initialisation:

this.SetStyle(ControlStyles.DoubleBuffer | ControlStyles.UserPaint | ControlStyles.AllPaintingInWmPaint, true);

You might also like...


Simon Soanes


Why not write for us? Or you could submit an event or a user group in your area. Alternatively just tell us what you think!

Our tools

We've got automatic conversion tools to convert C# to VB.NET, VB.NET to C#. Also you can compress javascript and compress css and generate sql connection strings.

“It is practically impossible to teach good programming style to students that have had prior exposure to BASIC. As potential programmers, they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.” - E. W. Dijkstra