Author Topic: Alchemist export Height in 8 Bits, not 16  (Read 2313 times)

Hello Everyone !
Using Alchemist 2.1.0 these days for simply generate quick rock alphas to use with Zbrush using height map export.
Unfortunately all i tried was no success... The exported height map is always in 8 bits.
My alphas are not usable in 8 bits, because of layer effet...
I hope i missed something simple here ! ;)
Thanks in advance for your lights ;)


Can you send me a screenshot of the material layer stack you're trying to export?
Are you using a specific preset at export time?

Substance Alchemist Product Manager

I'm in create mode, drag the blocky cliff red substance got from Substance source.
Then export height using the export tool.
I tried, tiff, png but result is always 8 bits.
Tried to export directly from 2d view, same result.
I've read on official doc that height and normal are converted to 16 bits at export. Not for me...

Sorry i didn't found how to send you image, but it's very simple setup.

How do you check the bit depth of your export?

I did a quick check on your example. It's both marked as 16 bits in Alchemist and Photoshop

To add an image, drag and drop it in the text area or you have an attachments option below the text area.
Substance Alchemist Product Manager

Hmmmm thank you !
You're right, it's 16 bits ! Unfortunately IrfanView told me 8 Bits, but photoshop and Zbrush alpha palette says 16 bits.
My mistake.
That said, the result is weird when using in Zbrush, as i get layered effect (8 bits like) when using alpha, even with crazy polycount.. I continue digging, and tell you informed ;)
Thanks again !

ok i think i found a way !
On the left, the height in TIFF format directly saved from Alchemist. We can clearly see the layered effect.
On the right, the same image opened in Photoshop, then saved in TIFF with NO compression.
Result is much much better !

Zbrush doc says hat alphas should be saved as uncompressed tiffs of PSD for clean Result.
All my png tests were bad. but uncompressed TIFF is working perfectly.
Maybe in the future if a checkbox can be added in Alchemist, but it's not a big deal.
Thanks again for your help !

I'm having the exact same issue. Exporting materials as tiffs limits them to 8 bit. I am using the Arnold 5 preset. there is nothing fancy on my layer stack, only a material scan from substance source.
right clicking the actual image in teh 2d view and exporting it from there actually gets me a 16 bit image as expected.


Which version of Alchemist are you using? Can you send me a log file and the name of the Substance Source material?

Substance Alchemist Product Manager