The Quest for Visual Realism (2)

An example of texture mapping: the left hand image is flat shaded whilst the right has been textured.

When creating image detail, it is cheaper to employ mapping techniques that it is to use myriads of tiny polygons. The image on the right portrays a brick wall, a lawn and the sky. In actuality the wall was modeled as a rectangular solid, and the lawn and the sky were created from rectangles. The entire image contains eight polygons. Imagine the number of polygon it would require to model the blades of grass in the lawn! Texture mapping creates the appearance of grass without the cost of rendering thousands of polygons.