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How is a bitmap formatted?

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I was just wondering how a bitmap is formatted? I''m working with 24-bit bitmaps and I''m thinking about putting them all into one big file. I need to know (1) how a bitmap is formatted in terms of bytes (2) what structures to use when loading one from file.

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Assuming you''re using OGL or DX, this has been done so many times, why reinvent the wheel? Between DevIL and Microsofts D3DX libraries, you should ahve no problem loading BMPs, JPEGS, TIFFs, or many other image formats.

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