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The future of GPU texture compression - Rich Geldreich's Tech Blog

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I found this article that may be interesting, excerpt (our way :)) quoted below. Read it all here.

The old way

The previous way of creating DXTc GPU textures was (this example is the Halo Wars model):

1. Artists save texture or image as an uncompressed file (like .TGA or .PNG) from Photoshop etc.

2. We call a command line tool which grinds away to compress the image to the highest quality achievable at a fixed bitrate (the lossy GPU texture compression step). Alternately, we can use the GPU to accelerate the process to near-real time. (Both solve the same problem.)

This is basically a fixed rate lossy texture compressor with a highly constrained standardized output format compatible with GPU texture hardware.

Now we have a .DDS file, stored somewhere in the game's repo.

3. To ship a build, the game's asset bundle or archive system losslessly packs the texture, using LZ4, LZO, Deflate, LZX, LZMA, etc. - this data gets shipped to end users
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