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Sample (graphics)

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Title: Sample (graphics)  
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Subject: Hexagonal sampling, Spinning mirror system, Color space, Pixel artist, Pixel
Collection: Color Space, Computer Graphics, Digital Photography
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Sample (graphics)

In computer graphics, a sample is an intersection of channel and a pixel.[1]

The diagram below depicts a 24-bit pixel, consisting of 3 samples for Red, Green, and Blue.

Different samples within a pixel

In this particular diagram, the Red sample occupies 9 bits, the Green sample occupies 7 bits and the Blue sample occupies 8 bits, totaling 24 bits per pixel. Note that the samples do not have to be equal size and not all samples are mandatory in a pixel.

Also, a pixel can consist of more than 3 samples (e.g. 4 samples of the RGBA color space).

A sample is related to a subpixel on a physical display.


  1. ^ W3C Sample Definition

External links

  • W3C Definitions - Section 3.1
  • RGB pixel formats
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