Any guides on creating 10 bit HDR textures for Unreal?

This feature exists and I’m wondering what guides and resources there are for creating textures supported by this. What software can I use? Photoshop, Substance Painter? What settings do I need to apply?


That’s not what that’s for. You can render for HDR output (like an HDR TV or Monitor) for textures you can use HDR images for lighting and some 16-bit grayscale maps for a few other things like heightmaps

I don’t understand. So if I create 10 bit color textures utilizing rec2020 color space for HDR in Unreal, I can’t display them right? I’m talking about when the screen switches to HDR mode.

When it outputs HDR to your display it doesn’t need to convert textures to HDR as well. HDR is rendered in the lighting where the parts of the image that are more brightly lit will appear brighter on an HDR display. That’s not something that requires any changes to the textures to achieve. When it renders things it calculates it realistically with high brightness values, and with HDR it can display a wider range of those values.

Says HDR in Unreal can now take advantage of a wider color gamut. rec2020. You’re telling me rec 709 and rec 2020 are the same exact thing and it’s simply based off how the engine handles light? So in short, i can take a rec 709 texture and that will be appear just as an HDR texture does when I enable this setting?

By default everything is in the Rec709 color space, which you work in. During the tonemapping phase, the scene-referred linear image(theoretically 0 to infinity, floating) is transformed down to whatever the output may be, referred to as the Output Device Transform in the ACES pipeline(Gamma 2.2/2.4, PQ, various nit levels for HDR, etc). Color is done in a similar fashion, except it’s transformed from Rec709 to XYZ to ACES AP1/ ACEScg, and then to the output color space of Rec709, Rec2020, P3, etc.

This has nothing to do with lighting in particular or really anything else in the editor.

In short, you don’t need to make custom textures for HDR.

The color gamut is for the image output, not for any texture inputs on assets. You don’t need to modify your textures to have an HDR output, that’s all up to the renderer to create.

You’re saying this setting just makes textures created in 709 color space into rec2020. Wouldn’t this just be stretching colors and cause me to lose detail? I’ve looked at tutorials for Substance Designer and they actually create textures using a wider range of colors made available from the wider color gamut from rec2020. Couldn’t I create rec2020 textures in painter, designer or photoshop and use them in the engine? As color goes, the better the original work, the better the result. I prefer to not turn rec709 into HDR if it looks less good than true HDR rec2020 textures.

No, the game engine doesn’t do anything to the textures to render HDR, you don’t need to consider HDR color space for textures at all.

Textures in games get heavily compressed anyway.

It’s very rare for a texture to have a need for a large color space, most materials a pretty uniform and perfectly covered by sRGB. And generally, textures should be between 0.02 -.8

The only thing that an HDR image would be useful for would be a skybox or some kind of HDRI Backdrop.

SDR games don’t have less detail than HDR because of the textures.

How does me having an HDR Oled TV benefit from setting Unreal to HDR if it does nothing to textures? Why have a rec2020 color space utilized by HDR if we don’t even use it to create textures? Why are there substance painter and designer tutorials showcasing how to create using rec2020 color space? Please clarify

What you’re thinking about is only relevant to the output image, not the textures. I can’t find anything of what you’re talking about with Substance, the only thing I can find related to it is how things are displayed in the Substance viewport, which is the same thing that as what I’m trying to tell you, it’s about the output image, not the textures.

I have this substance tutorial:
This article mentions tuning your game for HDR from the ground up. This is talked about in the ‘HDR and game development section.’
HDR's promise is stunted by reluctant developer support | PC Gamer

What do they mean by setting up with hDR in mind if it hasn’t anything to do with creating HDR textures?

Because it has to deal with lighting more than textures. Lets say you are using an albedo texture for a painting hanging on a wall. A normal sRGB texture will be sufficient to describe all the details of that painting, from the blacks to the whites. But lets say it’s a bright sunny day and there’s window light being cast on the painting, half of it is being light by the sun, the other half is only being lit by the lighting in the room so it looks shadowed. The direct sunlight is ~100 times brighter than your typical indoor lighting. To be able to show details on the painting in direct sunlight and in the shadowed areas, without aggressive tone mapping, you need an HDR display. Without an HDR display or tone mapping, part of the image would have to be either under exposed or over exposed, and all the detail would be lost.

For photos, movies, HDRI cubemaps, etc.

I could not find one.

He’s literally creating and using the HDR texture to light up the scene like what you’d do with a skybox or an HDRI backdrop, and mentions that would be a practical use case.

That’s a PC Gamer article for gamers written by a games journalist, horrible source for anything actually technical. UE4 has always assumed you are using physics-based materials, so there’s no extra work needing to be done from the artist’s perspective. HDR assets isn’t a thing, PBR assets is. 16 bit color is nice for certain textures, where variation is very subtle, and normal maps, but it is absolutely not a requirement for HDR.

The biggest thing really to making sure your game is taking full advantage of an HDR display is to test early, use real world values as reference as much as possible, and pay attention to your lighting and post processing.

The first video is about making an HDR environment image, that’s where an HDR spherical environment map can be used to generate lighting in your scene.
The article has to do with stuff like having physically based materials and accurate lighting values along with tonemapping. To achieve that you don’t need to do anything to the textures. HDR is mostly useful when you have brightness values beyond white, which isn’t what you’d have a texture, if you want a material to emit light you can use emissive textures to do that and that will have an effect when rendering in HDR.

Fair enough. I trust that my regular 8 bit textures are enough for this then. I guess my question is this: I have an HDR OLED TV, to see my textures presented in HDR, what do I need to do with the engine to make them look good best with HDR turned on? Thanks

All of the info on how to enable HDR output was in that article you had in your first post.

Okay, thanks for the responses. I’ll see what I can do