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What exactly does it mean for a texture to be swizzled?

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Swizzling is the reordering of texels by the display driver in a format that is more "hardware friendly". This is done mainly so that texel fetches are more likely to be in the GPU''s cache for texturing a particular pixel.

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I''ve seen the word "swizzled" applied to file serialization in Java. Serialization is where an object is converted into a form more suitable for transporting. Another term used in this context is "pickled". Perhaps in the context of textures, it refers to compressing the texture for storage as resource data within the exe itself or an acompanying archive.

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Not usually. At least, it''ll be transparent to the application. The only thing you''ll want to be aware of is that it will make texture uploads/downloads run slower because the driver has to swizzle it. But then, there''s not much you can do about that except keep the number of texture uploads/downloads to a minimum.


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Thats why (in DirectX) there are Unlock() and Lock() functions for surfaces etc. what they do is "swizzle" (put the data into "hardware mode") and "de-swizzle" (put it into a form that you can work with) the data.

CEO Plunder Studios

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