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I just need to know what format to export my images in before loading them into my blender file, so when I export the video my images don't come out blurred or fuzzy

Whats the best quality format, for example my images are perfect as a pdf, but won't work in blender, with a png or tiff they come out more pixelated

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Recommended:

  • png: Great image quality, alpha support. File size is a bit large. Best overall. Compression hardly noticeable. also supports

  • tga: Popular in game engines. Good quality, alpha channel. Support for lossless compression.

  • hdr: 32 bit color depth. Use for environments maps only

  • exr: 32 bit color depth. Use it for rendering out images from blender that you plan on compositing later. Or for large textures that actually have the appropriate color information.

  • jpeg/jpg: Small file size, needs to use good compression to no like bad.

NOT Recommended:

  • gif: png was created to replace gif

  • bmp: Huge file sizes

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  • $\begingroup$ Does blender even support gif? $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Feb 27 '14 at 8:06
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The image format ".png" is not a good format to export, since it does not feature it's own alpha channel. It rather saves the transparency to pixels than to an alpha channel, which can make it hard to interpret the alpha the right way for some programs. It also uses compression, which means a loss of quality.

To my experience TARGA or OpenEXR are the best formats to use if you are going for a high quality.(large files)

The pixelation error does not necessarily have to result out of a wrong file format, it can also be the result of wrong image dimensions when rendering. An image or texture that covers more pixels in the render than in the original format is always going to be pixelated.

alex

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  • $\begingroup$ there is no need to use EXR for image textures unless the textures are 16/32 bit in color depth, which I doubt they are in this case. PNG is not lossless, but the compression is very good. $\endgroup$ – Vader Feb 26 '14 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ that's true. if your images do not require such a color depth, OpenEXR is too much of data for the quality that a hobbyist wants to achieve. As soon as you want to use an image as a source of light, i still would recommend an EXR format. This goes for compositing as well. i don't recommend png. a loss of quality that can be illuminated within one click is not necessary, no matter how small it is. $\endgroup$ – adegner Feb 26 '14 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ png is available as both lossless and lossy. In general I use 24bit png files for all 8 bit work and open EXR for Linear 32 Bit work. $\endgroup$ – MarkBTomlinson Feb 26 '14 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ I can't find any source stating that standard PNG compression can be lossy (see e.g. Wikipedia), there are special applications that create PNG with lossy compression however. Can you prove that Blender uses such a lossy, non-standard algorithm for PNG? (I assume 24/32bit) $\endgroup$ – CodeManX Feb 26 '14 at 19:26
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    $\begingroup$ You're wrong, the compression percentage in Blender maps to the PNG compression levels 0-9. They only determine how much CPU power goes into compression, see e.g. here. 0% compression stores the data uncompressed like in a bitmap, 100% tries as hard as possible to deflate, but with no loss in quality (PNG uses ZLIB algorithm, which wouldn't be as popular if there was information loss for e.g. text files). You can prove that by exporting 0% and 100% compression PNGs with Blender, convert to TGA and do a binary comparison - they are equal. $\endgroup$ – CodeManX Feb 26 '14 at 22:11

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