I want to be able to export all the z-depth data of a rendered image to a file. I know I can render the zdepth to an image file in 3dsmax, but if I save it as a bmp the depth is saved as 8-bits per pixel, I need at least 16-bits per pixel precision.
After looking through the manual I found that if I save the image as a RPF or RLA, then I can export depth as well, and select the bit precision. But I think this only applies to the color channels and not the depth channel (correct me if I'm wrong)
So I asked on two different max forums if anyone knew a solution to this but no-one came up with an answer. So I continued looking and I stumbled upon MaxScript.
It appears from what I read in the MaxScript manuals that reading the float-value of every pixel in the z-buffer is possible. Am I right about this? Are there any excisting plugins or scripts that can do this? I'm an experienced C++ programmer but I know little about 3dsmax, would it be a lot of work with a long learning curve to do such a thing or would I be able to write a script for that in less than 2 days?