Method for efficiently recording a number of texture images...

Computer graphics processing and selective visual display system – Computer graphics processing – Attributes

Reexamination Certificate

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Details

C345S587000, C382S232000

Reexamination Certificate

active

06538659

ABSTRACT:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a texture recording method and a computer readable medium, and in particular to technology for storing a texture image in a memory of a small capacity.
2. Description of the Related Art
Conventionally, texture mapping technology is known as a method for easily creating a realistic solid computer graphic image. The term “texture” here means a design drawn on the surface of a solid. An image processing apparatus employing such technology handles data on the shape of a solid (shape data) and data on the design drawn on the surface of the solid (texture image data) separately. That is, initially, the apparatus temporarily places a solid created based on the shape data in a virtual 3D space in a memory, and then maps a texture image onto the surface of the solid.
A texture image for use in the above texture mapping technology is artificially made by using either computer graphics or a photo image. The thus obtained number of texture images are arranged on a relatively small number of texture recording images, and the texture recording images are compressed before being stored in a disk device, or the like.
To use the texture images for texture mapping, a compressed texture recording image is read from the disk device, and decompressed before being loaded into a memory in an image processing board, so that a necessary texture image is extracted from the texture recording image and mapped to a solid, or a modeling object.
However, the capacity of the memory for the development of a texture recording image is limited in the image processing board. If the texture recording image now loaded into the memory does not contain a texture image desired to be used for mapping, another texture recording image must be loaded by being read from a disk device or the like. In this view, a texture recording image is desired to contain as many texture images as possible in order to increase the speed of image processing using texture mapping.
Also, even when the aforementioned image processing board is not used, storing texture images in a small data amount will save the texture recording image, and increase a data reading speed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention has been conceived to overcome the above problems and aims to provide a texture recording method for recording a texture image in a smaller data amount, a computer readable medium which records a computer program, and a computer readable medium which records a texture recording image for recording texture images using the texture recording method.
Specifically, the object of the present invention is to provide a texture recording method which makes it possible to record a texture image in a smaller data amount by containing as many texture images as possible in a texture recording image through elimination of wasted space therein, a computer readable medium which records a computer program, and a computer readable medium which records a texture recording image for recording texture images using the texture recording method.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a texture recording method which makes it possible to record a texture image in a smaller data amount by applying a higher compression rate when compressing a texture recording image which contains texture images, while maintaining the quality of the texture image, a computer readable medium which records a computer program, and a computer readable medium which records a texture recording image for recording texture images using the texture recording method.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a texture recording method which makes it possible to record a texture image in a smaller data amount by reducing a space between texture images (contained in the texture recording image) without enlarging the size of the texture images, a computer readable medium which records a computer program, and a computer readable medium which records a texture recording image for recording texture images using the texture recording method.
In order to achieve the above objects, according to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a texture recording method for recording a texture recording image containing images of a number of textures in a memory to thereby record the images of the number of textures in the memory, wherein the images of the number of textures are arranged on the texture recording image based on shape information of each texture such that a region other than a region occupied by the images is reduced on the texture recording image.
In general, when a number of texture images are arranged on a texture recording image to be contained therein, wasted space is inevitably caused between texture images. However, according to this invention, such wasted space can be reduced by utilizing the shape information such as the length of a side of a circumscribed rectangle of each texture, the type of shape of each texture (a triangle, a rectangle and so on), and the length of a side of each texture. As a result, more texture images can be contained in a texture recording image of the same size compared to a conventional design, and texture images can be stored in a smaller data amount.
The above arrangement enables high speed reading of a texture image from texture recording images. Moreover, more texture images can be loaded in a memory in the image processing board dedicated to texture mapping. This also helps increase an image processing speed.
Note that “a region occupied by the images” may include a necessary margin region.
Further, in the above texture recording method, the shape information of each texture includes information about a shape of a circumscribed rectangle of each texture.
In this invention, information about the shape of a circumscribed rectangle of each texture is used as a part of the shape information. The height and width of a circumscribed rectangle of a texture correspond to the maximum height and width of each texture image, respectively. Therefore, the use of such shape information enables efficient arrangement of a number of texture images on a texture recording image. That is, when the textures are sorted based on the width or height of circumscribed rectangles thereof, the images of the textures which inscribe rectangles of substantially the same height can be arranged side by side on a texture recording image. As a result, texture images can be stored in a smaller data amount.
Still further, in the above texture recording method, each texture is turned over or rotated before the image of each texture is arranged on the texture recording image.
In this invention, a texture is rotated or turned over for reduction of wasted space to achieve efficient arrangement of texture images on the texture recording image. This makes it possible to record texture images in a smaller data amount.
According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a texture recording method for recording a texture recording image containing images of the number of textures in a memory to thereby record the images of the number of textures in the memory, wherein a predetermined texture is transformed into a predetermined shape, and the image of the transformed texture is arranged on the texture recording image.
In this invention, if it is judged for some texture that the image thereof cannot be efficiently arranged on a texture recording image because of its shape, a 2D affin transformation or the like is applied to that texture to transform the texture into such a shape that allows easy and efficient arrangement of the image thereof on the recording image before it is actually arranged. Arranging the image of the thus transformed texture on a texture recording image enables further reduction of wasted space.
Moreover, when a predetermined texture is transformed into a predetermined shape and arranged on a texture recording image based on the shape information of the transformed texture, wasted space can be reduced more eff

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