32bit images files fail to load in Maya 2011 -2013

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  12 December 2012
32bit images files fail to load in Maya 2011 -2013

Hi everyone,

I've had this issue for a few years now and always end up resorting to just using 16bit files. But I really want to try the new vector displacements that obviously have to be 32bit/

Problem is whenever I try to import 32bit files into Maya I get this error "// Warning: Failed to open texture file" It's definitely a Maya problem as if I try creating a 32bit texture in Photoshop and importing that I'll get the same error.

My computer specs are Mac pro 8 core 2.93ghz. 16gb ram using Mountain Lion 10.8.2. Although I don't think it's in any way related to my OSX as I had the same issues using Lion and Snow Leopard. But just in case they may help, I thought I'd add those details.

I've spent many hours searching the web for an answer. It seems that very few others have the same issue. The people that do never seem to get a solution. The two main questions people always ask is "are the tiffloader and OpenEXRloaders activated in the plugins menu". The answer is yes they are. Mental Ray is also set to 32bit float in the rendering preferences pane.

I've had this problem on all my Maya versions from 2011 to 2013, I always get that same error whenever I try to load 32bit files both EXR and TIFF exported from any program.

So I'm out of ideas, I really don't know how I going to solve this, so if any of you know an answer to this then I'd really really appreciate your help.

  12 December 2012
Are you absolutely sure you have 'tiffFloatReader' loaded? I can export 32 bit Tiffs from Photoshop CS6 here and load them in Maya 2012/2013 fine here as long as that plugin is loaded. (Windows OS though).

  12 December 2012
works here in OS X - always has. It just doesn't create thumbnails for 32-bit images. You get exactly the same behaviour in Windows:


I've said it before: there is almost never a problem due to the OS unless it's video card related. It's always Maya otherwise. People automatically think this though.

Last edited by cgbeige : 12 December 2012 at 09:14 PM.
  12 December 2012
Hi guys,

Thanks for the replies.

Horganovski, Yep I'm absolutely certain that I have the Tiffloader loaded, also the EXR one. It does seem that this is a rare issue as there isn't many posts on this.

Edited: Today sorry forgot to highlight the areas in the image. Here's a link to the higer res version http://imageshack.us/photo/my-image...21208at224.png/

It definitely doesn't load though as even if I just place the file into the colour slot of a Lambert I get nothing in the render
And yeah I've read people have had this problem in Windows too.

Seems like a really odd bug,

Last edited by peteb : 12 December 2012 at 10:52 PM.
  12 December 2012
I can report the same behavior in Maya 2012 under Win7, both 64-bit. I tried several 32-bit .tiff files, even making some fresh ones in Photoshop with various options on and off. No love. I rarely use .exr files so I can't comment on those.

: Tried it again, and realized I foolishly didn't have the plugins loaded. Works fine now, even handles the alpha channel in the viewport too from a 32bit .tiff file.
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Last edited by InfernalDarkness : 12 December 2012 at 12:14 AM.
  12 December 2012
Damn, for a second there you made me feel like I wasn't alone in this.
  12 December 2012
Why don't you share a simple scene with @cgbeige, and see if you both get the same thing (on the same os and same maya version)?
  12 December 2012
Hi Zoharl,

Thanks for the reply.

The problem is it's not scene related. I can open up Maya and without creating anything I can try and import a 32bit image and get that message. And it's not a particular Maya version either, as I've had this problem since trying to import 32bit images in 2011.
  12 December 2012
did you actually try rendering? I should have mentioned that get the error on loading the file but it renders fine with V-Ray. I don't think Maya Software renders support EXR textures though.
  12 December 2012
^ Indeed, definitely worth trying just dragging the file into the texture panel of the Hypershade and seeing if it shows up there. From the screen shot above Maya is displaying a warning, not an error so it might just mean it can't create a swatch or something like that.

  12 December 2012
Hey everyone.

So the only thing new that I've discovered is that if I click on the edit button or view below the image name directory, I can view the texture. I don't actually know if this means the texture is loaded as it still uses my OSX preview window to view it so my guess is that it's not relevant to if it's loaded in Maya.

To answer the questions, yeah I'd tried to render it (this is in Mental Ray) but just get a base mesh with no displacement.
Because I wondered if I was doing something wrong, in terms of setting up the shader, I also tried just plugging the texture into the colour slot of a lambert and rendering. When I do this I just get a black mesh.

Hoganovski, when you say dragging the file into the texture tab in the Hypershade could you expand on what you mean?
I can see the file icon in the texture tab of the Hybershade but it's just the standard Maya image icon so can't actually see ta preview of the image. Like mentioned above the only way I can actually see the image is to click on the view buttons.

Thanks again for your on going support.

  12 December 2012
it's probably just not displacing much. Try increasing the value of the Colour Gain in the File node's Color Balance section to something like 10 and see if it makes the mesh displace more
  12 December 2012
If you are unsure how the results should look, then convert the image to .jpg 16bits first, and plug it in to see how it should look.
  12 December 2012
Hey guys thanks for the advice.

CGbeige, as far as I knew 32bit images don't need to be adjusted in the alpha gain to get results only 16 bit. Having said that, that's one of the first things I tried and got no difference no matter how high or low I cranked it.

Zoharl, unfortunately it's a vector based image map, which as far as I'm aware won't work in 16bit mode. I know what the displacement map should look like as I've had to revert to using a 16bit displacement map for now. I literally get nothing when using the 32bit version.

Thanks again for the input.
  12 December 2012
A couple of things to keep in mind with Vector displacment maps are that they need to be RGB rather than greyscale and that it's easy to load them into the wrong input when applying them to the displacement shader, they have to be in the one with 3 inputs to work correctly.

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