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Texel vs. Pixel: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 7, 2023
Texel vs. Pixel: A texel is a texture element representing the smallest part of a texture mapped on 3D models, while a pixel is the smallest controllable element of a picture represented on a screen.

Key Differences

A "Texel" is the smallest unit of a texture that is mapped onto 3D models, serving as the fundamental component in the representation of texture in three-dimensional graphics. On the other hand, a "Pixel," or picture element, is the smallest individual element of an image displayed on digital screens, representing the basic building block of digital images.
Texels play a pivotal role in 3D graphics rendering, contributing to the detailed visualization of the surface texture of 3D models. In contrast, pixels are integral in forming 2D images on screens, being the smallest controllable elements of a picture that collectively form the entire image.
The role of a texel is significant in the realm of 3D computer graphics, where it dictates the detail and quality of texture mapping on 3D objects. Conversely, the pixel is paramount in defining the resolution and quality of two-dimensional images, with a higher pixel count correlating to higher image clarity and detail.
While texels are the constituents of a texture map applied to 3D models, impacting the appearance and detail of the models' surface, pixels are the individual points in a raster image that, together, create the visual representation of an image or a part of it on screen.
In essence, while texels and pixels are the smallest units in their respective domains, texels relate to the texture on 3D models, and pixels pertain to the representation of images on digital displays, each influencing the perceived quality and detail of visual content.

Comparison Chart


Smallest unit of a texture in 3D graphics.
Smallest controllable element of a picture on the screen


Represents texture on 3D models.
Represents images on 2D displays.


Used in 3D computer graphics.
Used in digital imaging and displays.

Contributes To

The detail and quality of texture mapping on 3D objects.
The resolution and clarity of digital images.

Example Sentence

"Each texel in the texture map adds detail to the 3D model."
"Each pixel contributes to the overall image on screen."

Texel and Pixel Definitions


Smallest unit of a texture in 3D graphics.
The detail of a 3D object is often dependent on the texel density of its texture map.


Smallest controllable element of a picture represented on the screen.
The pixel is the basic building block of a digital image.


Fundamental component of texture maps in 3D graphics.
Modifying the texel can alter the appearance of the 3D model.


Individual point in a raster image.
Each pixel has its color value, contributing to the overall image.


Represents a point in a texture map applied to 3D objects.
The color of a texel influences the perceived color of the 3D object.


Represents the smallest unit in a digital image.
Changing the color of a pixel affects the overall appearance of the image.


A texture element used in the mapping of textures onto 3D models.
A high-quality texture has many texels to ensure detailed rendering.


A minute area of illumination on a display screen.
The clarity of an image depends on the number of pixels per inch.


Integral in defining the appearance and surface detail of 3D models.
Texels in 3D gaming are crucial for realistic and immersive environments.


Contributes to the resolution and quality of digital images.
High-resolution displays have a greater number of pixels, offering better image quality.


(computer graphics) An image representing the smallest unit of a texture that may be repeated to tile a region of the display.


The basic unit of a digital image, representing a single color or level of brightness.


One of the tiny dots that make up the representation of an image in a computer's memory.


One of the squares that make up a pixel art work or a zoomed in image in a computer.


To create computer graphics by editing individual pixels.


(computer science) the smallest discrete component of an image or picture on a CRT screen (usually a colored dot);
The greater the number of pixels per inch the greater the resolution


What does a texel represent in 3D graphics?

A texel represents the smallest unit of a texture in 3D graphics.

What is the primary role of a pixel?

The pixel's primary role is to represent the smallest controllable element of a picture on a screen.

Is pixel count related to image resolution?

Yes, higher pixel count typically results in higher image resolution and clarity.

Are texels related to texture mapping?

Yes, texels are the basic components of texture maps used in 3D graphics.

Are pixels integral to digital imaging?

Absolutely, pixels are fundamental to creating and displaying digital images.

Can texels affect the perceived color of 3D objects?

Yes, the color of texels influences the perceived color and detail of 3D objects.

Can a single pixel represent multiple colors?

No, a single pixel represents one color at a time in an image.

How does a texel contribute to 3D models?

Texels contribute by defining the appearance and detail of the texture on the surface of 3D models.

Can the size of a pixel vary?

Yes, pixel size can vary depending on the display resolution and screen size.

Do texels and pixels operate in different dimensions?

Yes, texels operate in the realm of 3D graphics, while pixels are related to 2D images.

How do texels relate to texture quality in 3D models?

More texels typically correspond to higher texture quality and detail on 3D models.

Is it possible to modify the appearance of a 3D model by changing its texels?

Yes, modifying texels can alter the appearance, color, and detail of 3D models.

Can the density of texels affect the realism of 3D environments in games?

Absolutely, higher texel density can contribute to more detailed and realistic environments in 3D games.

How does the color of a pixel influence an image?

The color of each pixel contributes to the overall appearance and color composition of an image.

Do pixels have a fixed shape?

Pixels are typically represented as square in shape, but the perceived shape can depend on display technology.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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