Friday, November 24, 2017

Universal GPU texture codec update

I've reduced the size of the ETC1->DXT1 lookup table to around 85KB, vs. the previous 3.75MB. There's a slight loss in quality (around .1 - .3 dB), but it's worth it. The larger table can still be used. The worse artifacts occur on very high contrast blocks. The size of this table is a baseline tax (especially on web) of using this codec, so it must be lightweight.

The previous conversion table was 4D, one dimension for each component of the ETC1 base color (5:5:5 bits) and a final dimension for the intensity value (3 bits). The new method is 2D: one dimension for the 5-bit component, and another for the intensity. There are two tables, one for R/B and another for G, because in DXT1 G is 6 bits and R/B are 5. There are some additional complexities, but that's the gist of it. The transcoder has to do a tiny bit of per-block work in this scheme to determine how to map the ETC1 selectors to DXT1 selectors, but it all boils down to some table lookups and adds.

The 85KB table can be precomputed, computed on the fly, or computed once at init.

ETC1 near-optimal:

ETC1S (the universal texture):

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