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I seen many applications (such as warcraft) dump images as TGA. Why?

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closed as not constructive by slhck, Linker3000, studiohack Aug 1 '11 at 1:07

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I'd say historic reasons -- TGA has always been used for textures in game engines, so that's why it seems like an easy choice to use the same format for saving (without an additional need for JPEG/PNG libraries). I don't see the real problem or question though, and I also guess you'd need a Blizzard developer to tell you the real* reason. Therefore voting to close as not constructive. –  slhck Jul 2 '11 at 21:25
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

TGA or Targa image file format was one of the most ubiquitous and relatively early formats that supported alpha transparency and generally was used by the games industry for sprite data. In addition it also supported RLE (run-length encoding), which is very simple way of compacting repetitive data and can be useful for some sprite data.

The file format specification was fairly linear and also importantly wasn't encumbered by patents, so this format is trusted for its ease of implementation, features and lack of legal issues associated with software patents.

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I always assumed it was patented (since i saw on wiki that it was owned by a company) –  acidzombie24 Jul 3 '11 at 6:13
    
Thankfully not, it's the format that got away! That said, there were probably many other formats that would have been considered prior art. Such things are ignored in today's patent-happy climate. –  Ruairi Fullam Jul 3 '11 at 18:28
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