Image format specialised for textures

'scuse if this is a stoopid question, coz I haven’t researched it much yet, but is there an image format with extra channels that can record bump, specularity and so on?
If so, does it work in blender?

Imagine a plugin for the gimp that could display an opengl preview of a texture, so that you could work on the material in real time, and using a single file.

Does such a thing exist?
Can it?
Should it?

just save your layers in the GIMP XCF format, and you can stack things together in the same file.

With the normal map plugin you can see the bumps, but I dont think that you can see it in real time while you edit.

Maybe you missed this:

OpenEXR with Nodes and RenderLayers give you input/output access to just about anything you could possibly do in an image editor, and then some.


Yeah, I thought I hadn’t expressed myself clearly…
Mmph: Yes, I’m quite aware of saving layered xcf (or psd) files. That’s what I do now. I have my textures saved as a multi layered xcf and save out copies of individual layers to be used in blender. That’s standard. I’ve been doing that since I started, back in the days of photoshop 3 and 3ds4.
Fligh: I’m also aware of OpenEXR (and RPF/RLA) , and use them a lot. They’re very useful for compositing and I was very happy when blender started using OpenEXR as standard.
What I was getting at was an image format geared towards textures, instead of compositing. Unless I’m missing something, at the moment the extra channels in an OpenEXR file (the Z buffer, etc.) are mainly used for compositing.
I’m talking about an image format that has a channel for normal, specularity, displacement etc. as well as the standard RGBA channels.
Perhaps OpenEXR can already do this, because of it’s “flexible and expandable structure”?
I guess what I’m talking about is a workflow thing. All the trial and error involved in, for example, making a normal map that matches and compliments your colour map, and the fact that you have to constantly switch back and forth between your paint program and your 3d program to see how your texture is working, and saving many different copies of what should be the same image file could be dramatically reduced and replaced with a more intuitive, interactive way of working.
The gimp plugin idea was just an extension of this, but as blender’s 3d paint tools and gl previews get better they would probably serve the same same purpose.

well, normal relates to the structure of the face of the object itself. specularity relates to the material used for a particular face, and is only setting(s), like 3, a parameters into a (specular) shader, which works in concert with the diffuse setting(s) (which is also dependent on the shader) used…for that particular material for that particular face of the object. Sooooo, those settings are saved with the object and tied to the faces that use those settings…so it’s not a texture at all; it is a procedural material setting.

I think you are confusing the image texture, and how it is mapped to the surface, with other kinds of coloring that can happen/be set up. You might want to check out this pagefor a comparison…

I think he knows that. However, you can use TEXTURES to do all of those things, and he’s wondering if there is a file format that will store all those different textures in one file.

Basically, it all depends. For instance, if this is for a game, you can write code in your game to read xcf files or psd files, and use certain layer numbers for different texture mapping values. However, I don’t think there is a file format that is actually specifically used for this, like a standard.

There’s probably not a format like that. Games probably wouldn’t benefit from that sort of tech since it would just create more overhead for texture memory usage or processing, and while it might be useful in an animation environment, then there are other factors like animated textures and such that might make such a standard less flexible to use.

A plugin like that would be useful, tho. I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on something like that.

Tynach: Yes. That is basically what I’m getting at, but not for games necessarily.
My current work in progress can be found here. (Although it’s advanced a fair bit since I posted that pic.)
The thought occured to me as I was adding textures to his hands.
It would be good, IMHO.
One of those times I wish I had some coding expertise…