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Re: [Public WebGL] WebGL support for NPOT textures

On Nov 17, 2011, at 7:24 AM, Ashley Gullen wrote:

> Hi, not sure my last message sent correctly (I tried to change the subject line to something more descriptive), resending just in case.
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject:	Re: [Public WebGL] WebGL NPOT texture support
> Date:	Thu, 17 Nov 2011 15:20:11 +0000
> From:	Ashley Gullen <ashley@scirra.com>
> To:	Benoit Jacob <bjacob@mozilla.com>
> CC:	public_webgl@khronos.org
> On 17/11/2011 15:11, Benoit Jacob wrote:
> > On 17/11/11 09:49 AM, Ashley Gullen wrote:
> >>
> >> Hi,
> >>
> >> I'm writing a 2D game engine in WebGL (see 
> www.scirra.com
> ), and this is
> >> my first mail to the list - apologies if this has been discussed before.
> >>
> >> I've found the power-of-two restrictions in WebGL a little inconvenient,
> >> since NPOT textures are common in 2D games. It seems a shame that in
> >> WebGL NPOT textures can't be mipmapped or directly tiled without
> >> stretching to a POT texture first. I've done some work with desktop
> >> OpenGL and found the GL_ARB_texture_non_power_of_two extension to be
> >> widely supported and very useful for this situation: it allows direct
> >> tiling and mipmapping of NPOT textures which is great for 2D games.
> >> There does not appear to be an NPOT extension for WebGL. Could I suggest
> >> that one be added to indicate the relaxing of POT rules? Since many
> >> desktop systems seem to support it this means the workarounds could be
> >> disabled on these machines for a better gaming experience.
> >
> > An important data point to discuss that is: how widely is 
> > GL_OES_texture_npot supported on current mobile devices?
> >
> > I think I might lean toward adding a WebGL extension for NPOT textures 
> > as we already have some extensions that are not well supported on 
> > mobile devices anyway; but this is a little bit more dangerous as 
> > textures are a basic feature and this opens the door to whole games 
> > that wouldn't run at all on mobile devices.
> >
> > Benoit
> I thought support might be rare among mobiles, my aim was simply to have 
> it as a convenience for desktop systems which do commonly support it.  I 
> don't think it's much of a risk since some old desktop OpenGL 1.x 
> systems don't support it either, so it's always been the case even on 
> the desktop that you assume textures must be power of two, unless the 
> presence of that extension indicates otherwise.  Since I anticipate 
> WebGL will usually be used while wrapped inside some framework (like the 
> engine I'm developing), this would be a useful feature for library 
> writers who can implement it correctly.  Also anyone writing a WebGL app 
> with experience on the desktop will also be aware of how to use the 
> extension correctly.  So I don't really see this breaking things.

It's not supported on iOS and I would expect the same to be true for the current crop of Android devices. I think it would be better to not add this extension at this point, until mobile hardware catches up. I think it would cause interoperability problems.


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