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What are the most popular graphic file format for games? - Printable Version

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What are the most popular graphic file format for games? - WhatMeWorry - Nov 17, 2004 11:13 PM

Guess the title says it all. I've been mainly using
Targa (32 bit - 24 color, 8 alpha) up to now and was
wondering if this was a good Mac/PC format, or if I should
jump ship to something else,

As an aside, does anyone know what the consoles (Xbox,
Sony, Nintento) and handhelds use? Curious as to whether
these are proprietary are not. I'd assume the Xbox might
be PC format based, but then again maybe not?


What are the most popular graphic file format for games? - ThemsAllTook - Nov 17, 2004 11:29 PM

PNG and JPEG are all you should ever need. They're the only 2 formats I ever use, and they work great. You're probably going to the get usual Targa lecture from Keith or Arekkusu. Smile

- Alex Diener


What are the most popular graphic file format for games? - AnotherJake - Nov 18, 2004 12:02 AM

Yup, PNG and JPEG are the way to go. JPEG's are only for large images that don't need alpha. It seems we all pretty much agree that TGA is out in favor of PNG because it compresses better.

Some folks really like SuperPNG as a plug-in for PhotoShop. I haven't had as good of luck compressing with it as I have with Preview. Some say that Save for Web works great in Photoshop but I've also had problems there with images getting saved with strange halo artifacts once in a while. I tried GraphicConverter too and it doesn't do as well as Preview either. Preview is the best I've found for size and quality for converting to PNGs so far. Just some observations from my point of view.

Also, don't go the libpng route to read PNGs into your program, use something from one of the system frameworks like Quicktime or NSImage so that you don't have to worry about keeping your PNG loading code up to date.


What are the most popular graphic file format for games? - OneSadCookie - Nov 18, 2004 12:03 AM

I'd probably add DDS to the list of "all you'll ever need". That's a pretty good format for textures.

My advice is, distribute as PNG; compress to JPEG or DDS if space or performance requirements dictate.

TGA and TIFF are most definitely evil Wink


What are the most popular graphic file format for games? - Tasnu Arakun - Nov 18, 2004 12:54 AM

i remember how sad it was when pict was abandoned in macosx... i used to be very fond of pict and picr (pict-resource) and used them alot in my early gamemaking.

anyway, png is the way to go. personally i think lossy == evil formats like jpeg should be avoided at all costs. well, almost any cost Wink


What are the most popular graphic file format for games? - IronWallaby - Nov 18, 2004 09:11 AM

PNG, all the way. It's easy to crossplatform on Mac, Windows, or Linux/BSD.

Also, Photoshop is notorious for it's crap compression of PNG's. Grab pngcrush, it'll shrink the sizes down 10-20%.


What are the most popular graphic file format for games? - AnotherJake - Nov 18, 2004 10:08 AM

Wow, talk about bleeding a turnip! pngcrush does indeed work as advertised. Thanks for the tip. Would there, by chance, possibly be a gui version? I dislike having to use command line utilities. Prolly wouldn't be too hard to hack a gui for it I guess, but I'm not feeling that ambitious right now.


What are the most popular graphic file format for games? - Josh - Nov 18, 2004 10:21 AM

I actually made a GUI-ized PNGCrush a while back (remember it, Carlos?)... If there is any interest I could try to find a host for it.


What are the most popular graphic file format for games? - lightbringer - Nov 18, 2004 11:31 AM

Josh, that would be wonderful, go for it!


What are the most popular graphic file format for games? - KenD - Nov 19, 2004 12:59 PM

PNG is great for images without alpha channel but I can't get SuperPNG to save the alpha channel. TIFF (good or bad) is what I use for alpha channel images. Suggestions for better alternatives are welcome since I'm not particularly fond of the TIFF format.

Or even better, is there a way to set up blending in OpenGL without the need for an alpha channel?

KenD


What are the most popular graphic file format for games? - skyhawk - Nov 19, 2004 01:31 PM

KenD Wrote:PNG is great for images without alpha channel but I can't get SuperPNG to save the alpha channel.
use graphic converter or photoshop


What are the most popular graphic file format for games? - AnotherJake - Nov 19, 2004 02:12 PM

SuperPNG *is* PhotoShop. No need to use Graphic Converter. Preview works great for exporting tiffs to PNG even with alpha channel. It makes the smallest PNGs I've seen except for pngcrush (what a cool name). Just use export in Preview with a Tiff or a Photoshop file. If you insist on exporting PNGs from Photoshop you need to use transparency, not alpha channels. There is also a version of SuperPNG that saves the alpha channels in PNGs but don't do it that way because the files are always bigger.


What are the most popular graphic file format for games? - anonuser - Nov 20, 2004 07:19 AM

It all depends on how you are distrubuting as well.
Quake and games of that sort tend to use TIFF and Targa because their distrubtion method compresses them for them rather than compressing them before hand, to avoid the overhead of double compression, which isn't much now a days.
But if you're just bundeling the images inside of the application then compress before hand, which i would tend to agree with Alex, and Keith. JPEG and PNG are the best formats.


What are the most popular graphic file format for games? - arekkusu - Nov 20, 2004 08:48 AM

Keeping images small on disk is important too, not just in the distribution download.

Try timing reading 100 megs of TGAs from disk.
Now time reading and decompressing 10 megs of JPEGs.

We might have lots and lots of disk now, but it's still way slower than the CPU.


What are the most popular graphic file format for games? - KenD - Nov 22, 2004 03:53 PM

AnotherJake Wrote:Preview works great for exporting tiffs to PNG even with alpha channel. It makes the smallest PNGs I've seen except for pngcrush (what a cool name). Just use export in Preview with a Tiff or a Photoshop file. If you insist on exporting PNGs from Photoshop you need to use transparency, not alpha channels. There is also a version of SuperPNG that saves the alpha channels in PNGs but don't do it that way because the files are always bigger.

Never thought about using Preview to convert and save images. I'll try and see what I get. It might just be the solution I'm looking for.

KenD