Perfect Displacement Texture using Bake from Multiresolution

Hello blendini friends!

It seems heightmap baking has been removed from Blender 2.8, and the only way to bake displacement now is to use a multiresolution modifier + bake from multiresolution. The problem with this is that the output texture is normalized, so when applied as a displacement map on a subdivided model, the absolute distances for displacement are lost and it comes down to “eyeballing” the displacement scale slider in either the material or the displacement modifier.

I’d rather just either bake it out as an EXR with absolute displacement scale values (including positive and negative numbers) or get a precise value for displacement scale so I’m sure it’s 1:1. The absolute displacement is by far the easiest way to go about it, rather than having to fiddle with a mid value and a scale.

ZBrush has a tool to measure the exact scale coefficient value to use in your materials if you decide to use a normalized displacement texture, it’s called “calculate displacement scale” or something like that. Does blender have functionality like that? If I really must use a normalized displacement map I would hope to get an exact scale coefficient from blender so I can just plug it into the material and expect it to be 1:1 with my sculpt.

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I am encountering the same issue. It would be great to have a displacement map that is not normalized. I was so bummed out I could not bake the displacement the same way I do in Zbrush or Mudbox

I ultimately made a tool to give me an HDR displacement map with positive and negative values in Houdini but it’s pretty sub optimal because multiresolution is already really good, and also the Hou one uses raycasting so there are overlap errors and whatnot. I will keep an eye on this in case they fix / extend it in Blender!