TARGA is an acronym for Truevision Advanced Raster Graphics Adapter; TGA is an initialism for Truevision Graphics Adapter. Today, most people refer to the format as the "TARGA File Format".
Truevision's (now AVID) TGA file format, often referred to as TARGA file format, is a raster graphics file format. It was the native format of Truevision Inc.'s TARGA and VISTA boards, which were the first graphic cards for IBM-compatible PCs to support Highcolor/truecolor display. This family of graphic cards was intended for professional computer image synthesis and video editing with PCs; for this reason, usual resolutions of TGA image files match those of the NTSC and PAL video formats.
TGA files commonly have the extension .TGA on PC DOS/Windows systems. The format can store image data with 8, 16, 24, or 32 bits of precision per pixel, the maximum 24 bits of RGB and an extra 8-bit alpha channel. Color data can be color-mapped, or in direct color or truecolor format; optionally, a lossless PackBits RLE compression can be employed.
Uncompressed 24-bit TGA images are relatively simple compared to several other prominent 24-bit storage formats: A 24-bit TGA contains only an 18-byte header followed by the image data as packed RGB data. In contrast, BMP requires padding rows to 4-byte boundaries, TIFF and PNG are metadata containers that do not place the image data or attributes at a fixed location within the file.
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