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I have a human model with 8k textures. will reducing the textures to 2k have an impact on visuals or performance? can I get away with compressing just the specular and bump map and keep the diffuse map at full size?

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  • $\begingroup$ Human eyes cannot perceive much better than 4K and most monitors cannot even display 4K. Build your textures in 4K but reduce to at most 2K in your projects. I use Substance Designer to build my procedural textures and can generate a version up to 4K res at any time just by changing a slider. $\endgroup$ – hatinacat2000 Jun 15 at 5:54
  • $\begingroup$ @hatinacat2000 How much you can perceive in terms of resolution will depend on the magnification, and the distance to the person. The eye can definitely see beyond 4k, it all depends on how close, and the size of the pixels... 5K, 6K and 8K monitors do exist and will need images on such resolution. $\endgroup$ – cegaton Jun 15 at 7:20
  • $\begingroup$ True, but we can only parse a pixel density of about 338 pixels/inch no matter how close we get to an image. A 4K game texture is as useful as the camera is close enough to show off that detail. If OP is doing a portfolio piece, he only needs to keep the resolution high enough for that detail to be seen, so maybe if we wants to fly the camera directly over the skin texture, 4k or even 8K would make sense. $\endgroup$ – hatinacat2000 Jun 15 at 17:15
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Yes reducing the resolution of the textures will eventually make the pixels large enough to notice, but will improve performance.
Compressing one map and not another depends on your node setup or in a external application it's limitations, but it should be fine.

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Texture size will definitely have an impact on the performance of your computer. A larger texture will use more resources, and the resources on a computer are limited.

A texture in 4K will use 4 times more resources than one in 2K, and an texture in 8K will use 4 times more resources than one in 4k... so it is quite easy to push your computer past it's limit without much effort...

Compressing doesn't help either. A compressed image has to be decompressed in blender, so even if on disk it seems smaller, once it is decompressed in blender it will use more resources.

Read: Why does Blender use so much memory for large textures?

At the end it all depends on how large the textures will be on the screen. It makes no sense to have 4k textures on objects that will only be a few pixels on the screen. Use large textures for objects that will be displayed quite large on a screen (like object that are close to the camera). 3D is a balancing act between quality, expectations and the real capabilities of your computer.

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