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Rasterisation (or rasterization) is the task of taking an image described in a vector graphics format (shapes) and converting it into a raster image (a series of pixels, dots or lines, which, when displayed together, create the image which was represented via shapes).[1][2] The rasterised image may then be displayed on a computer display, video display or printer, or stored in a bitmap file format. Rasterisation may refer to either the conversion of models into raster files, or the conversion of 2D rendering primitives such as polygons or line segments into a rasterized format.

Rasterisation of 3D images[edit]

Compared with other rendering techniques such as ray tracing, rasterisation is extremely fast. However, rasterization is simply the process of computing the mapping from scene geometry to pixels and does not prescribe a particular way to compute the color of those pixels. Shading, including programmable shading, may be based on physical light transport, or artistic intent.

The process of rasterising 3D models onto a 2D plane for display on a computer screen ("screen space") is often carried out by fixed function hardware within the graphics pipeline; this is because there is no motivation for modifying the techniques for rasterisation used at render time[clarification needed] and a special-purpose system allows for high efficiency.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michael F. Worboys (30 October 1995). GIS: A Computer Science Perspective. CRC Press. pp. 232–. ISBN 978-0-7484-0065-2.
  2. ^ Kang-Tsung Chang (27 August 2007). Programming ArcObjects with VBA: A Task-Oriented Approach, Second Edition. CRC Press. pp. 91–. ISBN 978-1-4200-0918-7.

External links[edit]