I'm playing for the first time with vector displacement maps. To keep it simple, I made a VDM of ocean waves in Maya and used the .exr to displace a plane in UE4. The reason I'm using VDMs rather than heightmaps is because I want to play with horizontal displacement as well.
So everything looks fine in UE4, no issues with that.
My map looks like this :
What bothers me is that I have to use a 32bit exr map to make it work, I feel like I don't need that precision (and massive file size). Furthermore, I'd like to edit my VDM in Photoshop to try things out, but you have almost no control on a 32bit image.
This leads to my question, how could I convert a 32bit image to a 16 or 8 bit without having to deal with tonemapping that completely ruins the information? I pretty much want to keep one value every 65536. This doesn't seem like a big deal to me, but I can't find a proper way to do it.
If in UE4 I just compress the picture to DXT rather then HDR uncompressed, I think it just clamps values above/below 0-1, so everything is mostly flat. I could be wrong though, I'm pretty novice to such matters.
I must admit I don't really understand how VDMs work and what I actually see in that texture means in terms of displacement, I just know there is no reason to have 4,294,967,296 colors in it when you displace a slightly subdivided plane.
Hope it's clear, I feel my explanation is a bit messy
Thanks for your help