8K Texture Library Optimization


I want to create a material library in an Unreal Engine project and then use this project every time I have a new visualization project so that I always have a finished library of materials to choose from. Making new materials for each project is one of the most time consuming aspects of the process so I would like to optimize my time as much as possible.

I already started importing some of the 8k textures I have downloaded, but I have a library of over 400 textures that I would like to use. And with the built in Unreal Engine texture compression this “default” project with my material library will get a finished file size of 150 - 200 gb. This is a lot of space and it will fill up my harddrives pretty fast.

First of all I would like to ask you if there is any way to compress the textures that are imported in Unreal in some way and then uncompress them when they are actually getting used to save more space. In any given project I use from 10 - 30 textures wo I will never use all of these 400 textures in one project. But at the same time I would like to always have the finished materials available so I never have to use any time to create new materials.

My work consists of making high quality and realistic visualizations of landscape architecture and architectural projects. This is mostly in the form of videos on and picture capture, so high performance is not really of importance here. So high quality textures are very important to sell the realism of the projects.
But what I am also wondering is; Is it necessary to use 8k textures over 4k textures? I use a lot of closeups in my final animations and am worried that 4k will not give me the same visual fidelity and realism as 8k will in these settings. But at the same time it seems kind of obnoxious to use close to 200 gb of storage space for every single project.

So does anyone here have an idea for how to optimize storage space or have any feedback on this issue? Do you know if it’s necessary to use 8k textures in my projects at all? Will there even be a visual og noticable difference between 8k and 4k. Thank you so much and have a nice day. I would appreciate all the help I can get.