3dRender.com : Glossary : MIP Mapping
MIP Mapping - MIP Mapping is an approach to texture mapping in which an original high-resolution texture map is scaled and filtered into multiple resolutions before it is applied to a surface. (MIP stands for the Latin multim im parvo, meaning "many things in a small space.") When a MIP Mapped texture is used in 3D rendering or real-time 3D displays, the texture can appear in full detail if it is seen in a close-up, or can be rendered quickly and smoothly from a lower MIP level when the object appears smaller or further away. MIP mapping saves processor time and improves anti-aliasing by allowing the computer to start with pre-filtered, pre-scaled textures at the most appropriate resolution for each frame. Usually, powers of 2 are used for the MIP Map levels, such that if the highest resolution were 1024x1024, the next levels would be 512x512, 256x256, 128x128, sometimes all the way down to 8x8 or 1x1 images.

© 2001 by Jeremy Birn.