best bitmap format to use in UE4

What is the best format to use, can someone help me out


The majority of artists I know use TGA(Targa) bitmap files for my maps, they also store the alpha if you need it…
When shipping to other artists/clients, they compress very well…
Certainly one of the best…:slight_smile:

Thanks for that, I was thinking of that format but was using png or bmp. But ty for your help

In UDK i use tga, in UE4 only psd for fast change my texture settings and adjustments.

So psd work nice, never used it before so what is the pros and cons of using psd format.

I don’t think PSD allows for alpha import.

There is no real drawback to using PSDs. A PSD stores a bitmap internally that represents its collapsed state, it is that internal bitmap that Unreal imports. As of such it is equal to importing a bitmap, just with the added benefit that you can indeed easily update the source file.


Luckily it does :slight_smile: PSD import works with alpha channel.

? So go tga or psd

It does not matter as a bit is a bit so the memory foot print for a TGA is the same as a JPG with the only real savings is in file size but since UE4 compresses textures it’s kind of a moot point.

The real question is what is the source format. If JPG there is no point converting it to TGA anyways, unless you need alpha, as the format can not add to the quality in any way.

Bottom line if it “looks” good go with it.

AFAIK, if you edit a JPEG, save, reload, edit, save, reload, etc., then the quality will deteriorate each time because jpeg is a lossy compression format meaning that when you compress the data, you will be throwing away some of the data every time. The jpg image will not depreciate by looking at it mapped to a model in game, as the image is not being edited. That is why JPEGs are not used for serious “source” photography or editing but only as a final format. If you use a lossy format, make very sure to only use it just in the final compression process.

This is exactly the same as MP3 which is lossy compression for audio.

SMac_01 raises a good point about lossy formats - the more you re-save them the more artifacts you can introduce. This goes for any lossy format though, not just .JPG

The ‘best practice’ that I use is to work from a .PSD whenever I need to revision the texture and then save it out to a .TGA file each time. I was not aware of the direct-from-psd workflow being available, I’ll have to check into that.

I started using tga files and very happy with it. ?. Thanks for all your input

Saying about compression. TGA file format can use RLE lossless compression. Since you don’t lose any data, I always have this option turned on. One thing I noticed when working with Photoshop. Sometimes PS automatically turns RLE compression off and sets resolution to 32bit/pixel. It happens when you work with multiple TGA files or already flattened textures. I always “save as” instead of “save” so I’m sure that I’m not unnecessary increasing file size.

I use the same workflow as Hyperloop mentioned. If possible I work with bigger resolutions and then scale it down.

From what I read here it seems that PSD is actually the simplest and best way to go.

I would go with PSD, because then you don’t have to save as other file formats and easily edit in Photoshop. My biggest turn off for TGA is that it doesn’t save layers, thus you then have to keep a copy of the file as PSD or other formats which saves layers. More troublesome.