I've downloaded the largest size of the Blue Marble Next Generation textures from NASA. I was hoping to be able to do nice closeups of an earth scene, as well as good real displacement, but Blender crashes immediately upon opening large textures. Are there any way to use larger texures (32K and up?)


  • $\begingroup$ This question appears to be off-topic, as bug reports are considered off-topic on Blender.SE. If you have found a bug, consider reporting it on the bug tracker $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jul 29 '13 at 20:12
  • $\begingroup$ This is a stretch but you could perhaps check to see if you have the texture size limited in your user prefs under Settings $\endgroup$ – iKlsR Jul 29 '13 at 21:37
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    $\begingroup$ It's most likely you system is just running out of memory. Please include a link to said image so others can test (a quick search only resulted in smaller or multi Gigabyte images). $\endgroup$ – Aldrik Jul 30 '13 at 2:34
  • $\begingroup$ I just tested it with no crashes (though it's extremely laggy) with the last image (21600x21600) on this page $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jul 30 '13 at 3:26
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    $\begingroup$ Do you really need an image that big? If it's causing Blender to crash, just scale it down in an image editor and load it in again. Most of the time that's a hardware issue (not an issue with Blender itself). $\endgroup$ – CharlesL Jul 31 '13 at 11:54

Unfortunately we are limited by the amount of RAM our computers have. A 21600x21600 image (at 8 bits per pixel and with RGB channels) takes up around 1.3 GB of RAM. Combined with geometry and other programs, this may be more than your GPU can handle.

How I understand it, the GPU, which has it's own set of RAM, is used to draw the blender interface and all the models - but the CPU is used to render the image (unless you specify to use GPU rendering) which uses your main system RAM. So it may be possible to setup the scene without actually trying to view the image in Blender, then render it (possibly from the command line) to ensure the image never loads into the GPU RAM.

However, this might not be enough. A common method of zooming into something and seeing a high res texture in the animation is to use a bunch of layers:

3D view of layered planes Render

This is an exaggerated example of course, but the parts of the image you won't ever see in high-detail don't need to be high-res. Cutting up the final image and lowering its resolution for each layer, cropping the high-res ones to show only what you need, will save a lot of memory.

To hide the seam better, use more layers with less of a change in resolution, or create an alpha mask to fade out each layer on the edges.

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