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texture mappingIn computer graphics, the application of a type of surface to a 3D image. A texture can be uniform, such as a brick wall, or irregular, such as wood grain or marble. The common method is to create a 2D bitmapped image of the texture, called a "texture map," which is then "wrapped around" the 3D object. An alternate method is to compute the texture entirely via mathematics instead of bitmaps. The latter method is not widely used, but can create more precise textures especially if there is great depth to the objects being textured. See texel, point sampling, bilinear interpolation, trilinear interpolation, MIP mapping, procedural texture and volumetric texture.
|Bitmap Texture Mapping|
|Each pixel in the 3D object is mapped to a corresponding texel in the 2D texture map. (Original illustration courtesy of Intergraph Computer Systems.)|