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OpenGL Texture streaming, Gears of War style

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I've been playing Gears of War recently (Yes, I know I'm likely the last person here to do so :), and I noticed how it doesn't require the textures to be fully loaded for it to render. Sometimes, characters are rendered with very low res textures (and possibly low quality shading) for a while, and they're streaming from the hard drive (I notice activity), then it transparently renders the full textured object when done. What I'm wondering about is, how is this handled? Did anyone cover the topic in-depth on how to efficiently implement it? I'm leaning more towards an OpenGL-aimed guide, but any API will do.

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this is should be easy to do, simply load a low res texture and render using that until the high res one is loaded and swap them :)

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You can set the base mipmap level for an OpenGL texture, which lets render with only the highest (that is lowest detail) mipmaps loaded. If you want specifics, Ysaneya described this process in some detail in his GDNet journal at one point.

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