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non-uv based texture mapping idea

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I've been wondering about the possibility of creating a non-uv based texture mapping method -- first through software rasterization and then possibly via hardware(if possible). I've fished around for any possible ideas or idea like this and have so far come up empty handed. The idea I had was to simply do a linear(kind of 1-D) fill of texture memory rather than the traditional 2D texture map - and do scanline interpolations across the triangle extracting the correct corresponding points from the 1-D fill. Anyone know if this has been done before? I thought it might make it easier to optimize use of texture space if such a renderer existed. Of course you'd need a converter to squash the textures for use in the game / application. If I get this working (if I find time) I'll post it - if anyone's interested. Any thoughts or ideas for/about this are quite welcome. :)

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