TIFF files

Why isn’t UE4 able to import TIFF files? I have some models that have TIFF textures. For now, I batch converted those to PSD files using Photoshop. But I am still curious why UE4 cannot import TIFF files.

hmm … I did textures in Tiff and laid them))) forgot to check … Ah …

Hi Shiloh,

TIFF file format is not supported by UE4. You can find further documentation on file types supported by the engine here.

Thank you!


I found that URL when I was having problems importing TIFF files, and converted my textures to PSD files. My question was more down the lines of why TIFF files are not supported by UE4.

The TIFF format seems viable for animations and 3D environments, Unity for instance uses the format, and i could not find a reason, not to use TIFF along TGA. Filesize seem to vary between TGAs and TIFF (some are smaller some bigger).

I asked this question over on the UE4 AnswerHub and I still haven’t heard back about why they refuse to implement the TIFF image format. At least you were lucky enough to even get a reply (as generic and lazy) as it was, nothing has been said about why TIFF hasn’t been implemented into UE4, or when they might even happen.

I know that UE4 now allows user based plugins to be made, so lets hope someone can make one because I have a feeling that Epic game never will. Unless someone knows of a user who has already program a plugin as of now, we will have to wait.

I think what is confusing the most is that Epic Games has implemented texture formats that are either obsolete or at really uncommon. I mean, how many people ever use a .float, a .pcx, or even a .exr (which I have never heard of). I have never seen (or heard of) a team using these texture formats. It’s really weird that Epic Games would implement these really obscure and probably low-use formats, but not bother to try to include a very common format like TIFF.

EDIT: Here is the link to my AnswerHub question (that still hasn’t even been given any form of answer at all. https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/30949/request-please-bring-tiff-tagged-image-file-format.html

I forgot to mention that Epic even have included .bmp in their list, which is not only extremely outdated, but its also one of the least used image formats among artists (even beyond Game Art) people because of it’s age and the lack of flexibility when using a .bmp file. How can you expect a AAA Game Engine (that is constantly being improved) to continued to be used, when it doesn’t even have a basic image format (that is one of the most common image formats among artist of all fields, not just in game art)?

Is it me, or does this sound like poor planning?

I can only guess, but from a coder pespective, TGA is just a super simple, straight forward format. Only an 18 byte header that isnt too complicated :slight_smile:
The same goes for bitmap.
TIFF is a bit more complex, partly due to the multi image support, etc.

So TGA is much more convienient to handle :smiley:
Also some of the TIFF compression stuff may still be subject to some licensing issues…

PS: BMP is far from being outdated. It has some advantages.

re: .exr
it’s very widely used in animation and vfx - http://www.openexr.com/

Okay? But this is a Game Engine meant for making games. The EXR format was created by Industrial Light & Magic (a George Lucas company), meaning that it is mainly used in the Movie industry.

Now, I know that you can theoretically create a movie in UE4 (even though it’s inefficient because is a Game Engine and not a 3D modeling and Rendering platform, but I have never heard of a Game Studio use EXR files. HDR files are more commonly used then EXR files (even though an EXR file is a HDR file type), HDR files are still not use as much when creating game textures (usually because of their high file sizes).

Even with all this being the case, TIFF files are widely used both in and outside of the Game Industry. It ludicrous that Epic Games still hasn’t included a common file type (that has been around for 30 years) and is still widely used today. It just doesn’t make any sense why they wouldn’t include it.

And if TIFF is complex enough that Epic can’t include it, then why does Unity 3D include the file? And I even believe that CryEngine does too.

I appreciate that Epic has made Unreal Engine 4 free, but you cannot expect to be the leading Game Engine maker/seller and not include something that is included in other packages and expect it to be overlooked when there are obviously people who want to use it. It’s just silly.

adding TIFF takes x amount of time
if there are other things that have a higher priority then it will have to wait…
I see it is on their to do list : Importing textures from Tiff - Rendering - Unreal Engine Forums

EXR in games would more commonly be used for storing data in a texture due to the 16/32-bits per channel that it supports allowing for much higher precision. TIFF can do that too, however at this point there’s something out there that does everything TIFF does.

Is there a file format supported by UE4 that has 16-bit depth that does not compress alpha channels in a stupid way(ala PNG) and is not psd?

That would be EXR, it does up to 32-bit per channel. That is 32R32G32B*32A. Incredible amounts of data.

I would also like to use TIF in UE. My only reason is TIF can use alpha and windows 8 and 10 can show their thumbnails with alpha. no need for image browser or any other app. If there is a way to get thumbnails wisible with TGA please tell me.