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  • Graphic Effects: MIPmapping

    Posted on June 9th, 2009 admin No comments

    What is MIPmapping?

    A MIP mapping is a type of graphics effects filter that is used to create an semblance of depth in computer design environment. It makes a two-dimensional (2D) samples of a three-dimensional (3D) graphic surrounding. MIPmapping id being used with texture displaying, more of that MIP mapping features multiple visualizations of a each graphic texture map made in different resolutions to show surface textures with an illusion of distances from the user point of view. It simply creates the largest available scaled image and placing it inside the front environment and dynamically placing smaller ones that reaches the farther zones of background area to the same horizon - it depends what level of mip mapping your software/game provides. Every generated image is scaled to feel the difference between what’s close and what is farther - is defined as a MIP map level - higher level means more generated images that builds 3d environment. When the level of MIP mapping is higher, your card performance will be decreased. Besides generating 3D graphics MIP mapping is useful avoiding unwanted scratched edges, these “ragged” borders is called jaggies. Generally speaking mipmapping upgrades the quality level of graphics surroundings by placing various versions of the texture that are minimized more when the 3D depth increases. This graduation of every single mipmap level is dependent on the Texture LOD (Level Of Detail).

    MIPmapping example image

    MIPmapping and 3d environment

    But 3d artificial environment takes more than just MIP mapping to get a proper result, that’s because the texture’s perspective is oriented closer when it gets to the horizon. Therefore the minimized textures are the farther ones from the viewer. The true is that without any graphic filtering of the texture, you can get only a very pixilated image - it is called point sampling. There is a significant rule saying that when the distance from the viewer is increasing, the pixels that are available near the horizontal ones only for representation, that is because the 3d environment runs from the lower zones of the screen to the center.

    mip mapping in-game example

    Take a look at the Mip mapping example above. The left part is done without mipmapping. You might think that it looks sharper in the screenshot here. It is, but without mipmaps all textures flicker with a large amount of noise - this looks awful when the scene is set in motion. Simplifying the Mipmaps are different versions of one and the same texture that is available in various sizes to fit it in a proper place (depth) inside 3D graphic environment. Just try to imagine that you are standing in a long highway and you are focusing on the road texture beginning from your legs to the all way to the same horizon. To secure as much realistic appearance as it possible. The middle lines on our highway which are closer to the viewer must be generated in high details, higher resolution. If you are moving your sight closer to the horizon, the textures gets smaller and smaller. There are situations where details which are closer can be lost due to scaling problem because your graphic card driver doesn’t know which are the most significant details in the texture - it can be avoided by installing a newer driver or lower the level of MIP mapping.

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