I have noticed in cycles I render faster with .tga image textures than .png image textures. Is there a loss in render quality because of using targas instead of pngs? Which should I use?

  • $\begingroup$ Hello :). This sounds interesting. Would you mind adding more details? Image resolution, render time difference, map type... Just curious :). $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2020 at 12:55
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The answer is: EXR. $\endgroup$
    – troy_s
    Oct 3, 2020 at 13:03
  • $\begingroup$ Hello @troy_s :). Doesn't the OP mean material image textures, not the output file? $\endgroup$ Oct 4, 2020 at 18:05
  • $\begingroup$ Materials are the same answer. EXR is exemplary on all fronts, and is in many instances the only means to get things like reflections etc. into Blender. EXR is the only sane option for speed, size, quality, and encoding. $\endgroup$
    – troy_s
    Oct 5, 2020 at 0:00

1 Answer 1


PNG takes longer to read or write, because the computer needs to compress it. Therefore it takes up less space. TGA is largely uncompressed, so it's being written and read faster, but takes up more space. Both formats are loss-less, but I think the color range of TGA is larger. Targa is popular in Game Enginges because the Alpha channel is independent from the color channels and it reads very fast. EXR is usually the largest, but it supports HDR. I haven't tested it, but it should be read faster than PNG.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ EXR can be smaller in size: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/148231/… $\endgroup$
    – brockmann
    Oct 3, 2020 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ Hello :). Doesn't the OP mean image textures used in materials, instead of an output file? $\endgroup$ Oct 4, 2020 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ You're correct, ups, but my answer works both ways. PNG ofc. also takes longer to decompress as it does to compress. $\endgroup$ Oct 8, 2020 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ I was referring to image textures for shaders. I almost always render in multi-layer exr. $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2020 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ Changed it, so it's more suitable. $\endgroup$ Oct 17, 2020 at 8:04

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .