i am ever fascinated by optimizing textures (part of being OCD i suppose) and had written about png formats and jpeg here a few weeks back
well i am also obsessed with road textures. in Second Life, i redid the estate’s city’s roads several times. always searching for a better look. now that we are self-hosted i tend to obsess on file size since any texture eats up RAM. after that last texture post, i decided to try doing 256 pixel textures rather than 512s
so i redid roads in Enclave Harbour with 256 by 256 png-8s and that was just fine (by my standards) and seemed to look as good as 512s. except for the curves. my builds tend to be simple and that goes double for my roads! all my curves are the same and that must be a reflection on the city’s retentive civil engineer! =p
so i made my 256 and bah, it looked horrible =(
then i tried a 512 and yay, it looked much better. of course, i could not stop so i tried a 1024 rationalizing that i am doing this for the entire virtual world community! *head is swelling*
the 1024 looked better yet! but not as big a difference as between the 256 and 512. gosh, what to do? (these really are my dilemmas in life, so i have no complaints) =)
i decided to settle for the 512 because who is really going to notice and say “sheesh, you suck Ener” =p
that was a few hours ago and i went on to work on a suspension bridge
now that i uploaded the pics to flickr (i always try to include a pic in every post, much to the consternation of Prok), i decided to look at the texture sizes to see how HUGE a diff there was
well, poo on me! the difference between the 512 and the 1024 is only 12 kb!
the 256 is 2 kb, the 512 is 10 kb, and the 1024 is 22 kb. albeit the 1024 is more than double the 512, it is such a small file that it is worth the size
all that to say – evaluate your needs, test the difference and decide on a case-by-case basis. balancing quality and texture size is sometimes easier than some pink-haired avatars make it out to be!