Maya/Arnold displacement maps in both positive and negative values

hi,
im quite happy using UV displacement maps to eventually bake on geometry, mainly embossing on objects or engraving. 
What I really want to know is if it’s possible to create both in the same displacement map and if so, how? The resulting files are typically HUGE so no hope of bringing a post-baked mesh back into Maya.
I’d heard it might be possible to set the ‘0’ value to say 50% grey then darker will be negative and lighter positive but I’ll be buggered if I can find out how. I’ve only been using Maya for a year and displacement maps for a couple of months so be gentle!
A thousand and one thanks to anyone who can help, you lovely people!
Dan

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