View Full Version : baking.. no not cookies.
07-25-2011, 05:48 PM
ok am trying to get an understanding of using xnormal to bake my high poly to low poly stuff but not sure i have it understood.
do i unwrap the low poly model then import that and my high poly into xnormal and bake?
or am i missing something.. ive watched a few vid tuts but still not understanding it.
can someone maybe explain the process...
07-25-2011, 05:54 PM
I know you said you've gone through some tutorials, but this one is very comprehensive.
07-26-2011, 08:14 AM
do these look ok for a high and low? do they need to match exactly in depth?
07-26-2011, 09:39 AM
Matching your low to your high is dependent on how many triangles you are allotted for the asset. If you can get away with fewer triangles that is ok as the normal map of a fairly complex area like your grating and pipes will translate onto a plane ok. With that said, your low should match your high as close as possible so that when you set your cage up it can bake the best.
07-26-2011, 09:48 AM
I think trying to get the normal map to fake the grate and the pipes is going to only end in disaster, none of it is going to parallax and it will only look good from the angle it was rendered at. A normal map just can't fake that kind of layered detail. Even a parallax map would have trouble with something like that... Maybe if the pipes where closer to the grate and the gaps where closed off with more pipes or wires so it was more like some minor surface bumps instead of a hallow chamber under the grate, it might work better...
The best way forward for that area is probably going to be do the grate on alpha, and toss in some low poly pipes. I also think the clips on the low poly are unnecessary, that's detail that is shallow enough that it could be handled by the normal map.
07-26-2011, 09:51 AM
Nah, that'll look stupid if you're not looking at it at a complete perpendicular plane. you need that depth and those cylinders. They can be 8-sided and you can delete the 2 lower faces that you don't get to see. But you can ditch those 'hinges' that are holding the grate in place.
07-26-2011, 10:41 AM
does this look better for the low polly?
07-26-2011, 10:57 AM
those stepped indents on the right, there is no reason to have that modeled in the low, it woudn't be noticed in game. You've gotta let the normal map do its job.
07-26-2011, 11:32 AM
there will be a wheel sorta thing going into there so needs to be some depth there bud .
another question. do i explode this to bake it? or bake it as one? ive been attempting it and so far my results are just crap lol
07-26-2011, 11:44 AM
Place the low poly elements and their corresponding high poly elements next to each other, but away from other parts of the mesh. IE, the grate from the high and the plane from the low poly should be moved up a bit and away from the 'base'. The two cylinders can be moved out of the groove. You want the exploded elements to NOT be close each other so they don't cast ambient shadows on each other. You will bake an unexploded version for that.
Leave the hinges and the plates on the right hand side as floaters for the 'base'.
Place a keyframe on frame one of the timeline. Move to frame 2, turn AutoKey on, move your elements of the high and low. Turn off AutoKey. Now when you move the timeline to frame 1 you will have a nonexploded mesh you can send off for an AO bake. Move to frame 2 and you have an exploded mesh you can send for its own Normal Map / AO Bake. Profit.
07-26-2011, 12:10 PM
when you say next to each other do u mean ontop of each other? ie: exact same world cords?
07-26-2011, 12:47 PM
Yes the high and low versions should be identical in size and on top of each other.
07-26-2011, 01:58 PM
got it sorted now. understanding it lol .
just need to do it over a few times to get the hang of it as the block i imported into udk had join seams at the edges.
07-27-2011, 02:36 PM
sort of managing to bake in max. (xnormal i still cant lol)
however when ive baked it in max how do i get rid of these errors. (seams on uv lines and weird white dots)
ignore the brown texture was just testing..
07-27-2011, 04:01 PM
What settings are you at? If you baking with Scanline, it shouldn't be an issue (just enable 2.5 star sampler and be done), with MR on the other hand, you really need to bump up the settings.
AO maps will require 128+ rays, and samples of 1-4+.
For the seams, are you using padding? Max requires atleast a padding of 8+.
07-27-2011, 04:11 PM
just using the scanline renderer with 2.5 star on.
cant remember if i changed the padding. this could be the issue here.
also am guessing the normal maps dont show in scanline render? or atleast i couldnt get them showing on a "standard" mat.
07-27-2011, 04:57 PM
Set the value to 100, and make sure you have a small strong light in your scene to test out the normals. Something like a default spot light just to see if the normals are working.
Also, did you make sure before putting in the Texture Normal Map in the Bump slot, to load the Normal Map material? Simply plugging the Texture Normal Map won't work.
PS: Sorry if I ask 'basic' questions, you never know when you miss something simple.
07-27-2011, 05:53 PM
heh yeah i remembered that :).. had no light in scene apart from defaults so that may be the reason it wasnt showing.
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