Choose the best image format supporting textures
A texture is an object that contains one or more images that all have the same image format. Textures are important for programming, but how to find the best texture image format? The BMP format
is faster than other ones due to its structure – it is a line of pixels, scanned in from the bottom left. TGA
is used in many games. It is similar to BMP with its compression algorithms, but can also support the alpha channel. TGA is really fast to load, but is larger than BMP. It has a reasonably small header, optional run length encoding (compression) and it supports 16, 24, and 32 bit color, and can also be a top to bottom or bottom to top which is sometimes useful. The DDS image format
supports volumetric and cube-textures, but does not support meta-data. The TIFF image format
does not directly support cube-maps or volumetric textures, but it supports any number of sub-images. TIFF also provides wonderful support for meta-data. Texture memory is always determined by the amount and depth of the actual pixels in the image, not the bits and bytes in which the file is stored. The amount of pixels in an image times the number of bits in each pixel will always equal the amount of texture memory the image uses. The file size can vary depending on in what format it is saved, but its actual texture memory consumption when the image is in view will always be the same.