rendering high resolution textures


The other other day I downloaded this huge texture for earth from NASA site and tried to render a globe. The file is a 21.600x10.800 .tif
Of course i didnt loaded that texture inside maya, but used a small version and just before rendering from command line i swap the file with the big one. Of course as I expected, things werent so simple. I got a message about problems in allocating space for converting the texture to .iff
Next step was to convert the .tif to .iff my self which worked fine giving a file of about 240Mb. Even that I am still getting an error during the rendering which says: File resolution not supported, file may be corrupt…
I also tried to optimise the scene before rendering using maya -optimiseRender or makebot to cache the texture but without any luck.

Is there a specific limit for image file resolutions or that’s relative to the computer’s resources? or is there a different approach in using such big textures…
btw I am using an AMD 1400Mhz with 1Gb RAM

thanx in advanced.


Hi, I think what you’ll need to do is convert the texture into a memory-mapped file. There’s a little utility called imf_copy found in:

C:\Program Files\AliasWavefront\Maya5.0\bin

That can convert images into the .map format especially for rendering really large images like yours. I tried it on a fairly large (though nowhere near as big as yours) image just now and it all worked fine and rendered it. So what you need to do is:

  1. Open up a command prompt
  2. Change do the directory I showed above
  3. Type something like this:

imf_copy -L -r “C:\Documents and Set

The -L flag tells it to write the file in a format that windows OS’s can understand. The -r flag means you want the image to be cached at rendertime (or something like that, it makes it render better).

Then you just need to type the full path of the image to convert, then the name you want to convert it to. The image will appear in the same directory as imf_copy unless you type out a new path.

Then just use the map file as your texture instead! Hopefully it should work!



Jozvex I did what you said but for both .tif and .iff format I got errors.
for .tif the error was that the format or version is not supported
and for .iff canot reed a line … incomplete file .

the thing is when I was converting the .tif to .iff i got some warnigns for a few tags inside the file. I dont know if that has anything to do. Maybe i should try to resave the .tif under photoshop.

I was talking with a demostrator in my uni about that and he was telling me that Maya renderer is not so efficient cause even with the BOT it will try to load everything in to memory. But I didnt know about the tool you mentioned me. So i’ll have a look to that more after I get back from greece… cause now I have to pack and catch my flight :hmm:

thanx for your reply


actually Jozvex was talking about metal ray… did you try convert the tif to iff in fckeck?


not with fcheck but with imgcvt


While I haven’t actually tested it, I heard that maya won’t render out maps bigger than 10K x 10K.

I’ve taken that same map and reduced its size to 8192x8192 and rendered it out just fine. maya straigt renderer will run better with it being a bot, mr will do it straight. Takes a while though…


I’m wondering why using such a very high resolution?? It’s really freaky !
Rarely peoples use resolution bigger than 2k.
Even for prints you could get good results without such a big file.


yea Jason I think you are right about Maya renderer… I have just started looking into RenderMan which, I belive, will have the ability to go for higher resolutions.

lazzhar as I mentioned this is an Earth texture which will let me make close ups to the clobe. I’ve used a 2k files a couple of years ago but I couldn’t go closer than that:
so when I fount this 21k images I said “wow i can even see my house in there!” :slight_smile:
but more important I am doing that more by curiosity to see if it’s possible and learn how to do it. You know as they say “The travel may be more precious than the destination itself”.

thanx for your replies


I would recommend a different approach to your problem.

If you want to do the ‘orbiting close up’ style picture, then take that 21k file and crop out a section of what you want (something like a 2k square out of it). And place that on a partial globe. Really, unless your shot is like a ‘flying in from far away to zoom in on a space station close up’, there’s no reason to use that whole texture when you’ll likely only be seeing a tiny bit of it in your shot. Its just a waste of resources.

:slight_smile: just a thought


yea JasonA, I think thats a wise sollution if the shot is planned in advanced.



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