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genesys

where did the indexed color textures go?

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This is rather a general question out of curiosity.. I wonder why novadays textures with indexed colors are not used anymore. Tutorials don't mention them, engines don't support them. But actually those 8 bits per pixel still provide for many textures better quality than RGB565 for example. Especially regarding mobile development with limited texture memory, indexed colors should be of interest again. Are there any performance or implementation problems regarding indexed color mode? Thx!

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The only benefit they would bring is potentially slightly smaller memory footprint. To blend or anti-alias them, one would need additional data, determining which indices are continuous. And at the end, one would still need to convert them to RGB-like format to perform these operations.

With typical buffering approach, there is already a full-sized buffer in RGB format, and the way rasterization pipelines work, indexed color doesn't really bring any benefits to that.

Quote:
But actually those 8 bits per pixel still provide for many textures better quality than RGB565 for example.


I wouldn't go as far, unless you assume that 8-bits are chosen from a 24-bit RGB palette. But either way, to support any kind of blending, the indices would need to carry additional information, which would equal up to 8 bits per color, and you'd end up with same memory requirements.

Quote:
Especially regarding mobile development with limited texture memory, indexed colors should be of interest again.


Mobile hardware has more computing power than many of the first 3D accelerated PCs had. It's not really an issue, especially considering the rate of improvement seen in that market.

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