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CrazyButcher's Avatar
Old (#1)
just saw this on opengl.org, might be worth a try, specially with the seemingly not so well working melody

didnt have time to test it, but a well known modeller has helped development

http://www.xnormal.net

Last edited by CrazyButcher; 02-20-2009 at 04:53 AM..
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Valandar's Avatar
Old (#2)
Eeenteresting... Definitely gonna try it out, see how it goes...
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DOM WAR! http://boards.polycount.net/showthread.php?t=61571
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Ruz's Avatar
Old (#3)
hmm, doesn't support quads, it forgets the paths you have just used and it seems to have no exit button. i gave up after that
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Eric Chadwick's Avatar
Old (#4)
I find some tools are only worthwhile after I've given the coder some feedback, so they can improve it. Send him your thoughts Ruz, it might turn into something good.
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That strategery worked great for me with Kaldera, I got a great tool out of it.
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Ruz's Avatar
Old (#5)
yeah sure. I think the tri thing is s bit annoying, but the interface was quite nice and i think i got a previous version from this guy working ok, so it should be fine after the bug fixes
http://www.mikerusby.com/
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jec1183's Avatar
Old (#6)
The exit button is the button that says close on the lower left. I already told him about the quad issue. It still does a really good job of creating normal maps. Unfortunetly it doesn't support high poly floating geometry so if you want your high poly stuff to be transfered over it has to be modeled in seamless which could get annoying with bigger projects.
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EarthQuake's Avatar
Old (#7)
Theres a really easy fix to this, and i think what you're asking for is quite extreme, not something thats easily automated. I'll recap my workflow here.

After you have your highres, and lowres meshs:
Uv your lowres
Make a copy of lowres mesh
Explode copied version in low, and in highres
Save out orig version
Bake from exploded meshes
Load up the final lowres mesh in the "Simple AO tool", bake a texture the same resolution as your other textures and bam, composite this image in with the other ambocc texture, edit out the shadows on parts that need to move etc.

This could also be done with max etc if you dont like the quality of the simple ao tool for lowres meshes, i usually blur the map a little and spend a few seconds painting out errors. Also be sure to make a layer mask for parts of your mesh that would need to move, so it doesnt have ambocc on it.

Theres actually a few extra practical advantages to doing it this way as well:

1. When using floating geo, you'll often get ambocc artifacts that you need to paint out, if your mesh is exploded and you have seperate layers for high and low frequency ambocc its easier and quicker to paint out these errors that it is when you have the small shadows along with the large shadows both in the same texture.

2. Matching the exact silhouette of the lowpoly is actually a more desireable result than that of the highpoly.
Example: You have a 32 sided cylinder intersecting with some other shape, if you bake the ambocc directly from the highres you'll get a perfectly round shape. If you bake it from the lowres you'll get a shape that actually fits your model instead of just hurting the mesh by point out how jagged your lowres really is(via the contrast from the 12 sided guy casting a perfectly round shadow, not matching up correctly etc).


Heres a comp of what goes into my lightmaps for textures
1. AO from exploded
2. AO from lowres
3. 1+2 combined
4. Extra fluff, gradient baked down, NM thrown into crazy bump to create detail map, then overlayed, etc
5. Final diffuse


Last edited by EarthQuake; 04-02-2008 at 06:23 AM..
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sinistergfx's Avatar
Old (#8)
I like it EQ. It just makes sense and saves time with AO cleanup.
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Whargoul's Avatar
Old (#9)
Why not bake your unexploded highpoly first, then transfer it to your game model later as a colour map?
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EarthQuake's Avatar
Old (#10)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whargoul View Post
Why not bake your unexploded highpoly first, then transfer it to your game model later as a colour map?
Well that requires you to have uvs on your highres, or to have a really dense(evenly dense too!) mesh that will give enough quality from just vertex AO. And you want to explode the mesh in the first place so you don't have a bunch of normal map errors anyway. Also you run into the same problem that i explained here with that method:

Quote:
2. Matching the exact silhouette of the lowpoly is actually a more desireable result than that of the highpoly.
Example: You have a 32 sided cylinder intersecting with some other shape, if you bake the ambocc directly from the highres you'll get a perfectly round shape. If you bake it from the lowres you'll get a shape that actually fits your model instead of just hurting the mesh by point out how jagged your lowres really is(via the contrast from the 12 sided guy casting a perfectly round shadow, not matching up correctly etc).
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jogshy's Avatar
Old (#11)
Released the 3.14.5. It's just a minor update:

- DX10 gamma correction option ( fear the results if you enable it! You will discover that your textures have been never well adjusted! ). Probably you're gonna need some device like the Huey or the Eye-One Display 2 to get good calibrated results.

- DX10 graphics driver's exposure more sensitive

- Corrected some bugs
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CheeseOnToast's Avatar
Old (#12)
War, that's what I've been doing in Maya 7 all along, but as earthquake said it involves unwrapping the high res. Maya can't take nearly as high geo as Xnormal, so I'm looking for a way to work it in to my current workflow.

Earthquake, that's a nice method you've got there, I'll be giving that a shot for sure.

Jogshy, I never meant not to use cages, I still do in maya. My current workflow is :

1. Uv map highres, and bake AO to texture.

2. Bring in lowpoly (already UV mapped), explode both meshes by fixed amounts (units of 10). Save scene as characterName_baking

3. Tweak cages for best raycast, bake normal + colour (which is the highpoly AO).

4. Apply maps to unexploded low poly, in a seperate file. This way I preserve a scene ready for any rebaking that needs to be done with minimal rework.

BTW, cages in Maya don't seem to control ray direction, only maximum length. No tricks with cylinders available using it.
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Ged's Avatar
Old (#13)
ok Im having a strange problem with my dom war piece,

when I load up the 3d viewer the hud is not visible and my mouse isnt visible either



it works fine when I just load my low poly but when I load both meshes it goes like this. Ive tried changing mesh scales but it doesnt seem to make any difference.
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Ged's Avatar
Old (#14)
well I broke the high poly into 2 seperate meshes and then brought it in and it worked . So I dont know what that was about. I think my computers just run out of ram.
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jogshy's Avatar
Old (#15)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ged View Post
when I load up the 3d viewer the hud is not visible and my mouse isnt visible either


It seems you are running out or VRAM.

Try to enable the texture compression. Go to the plugin manager, select the DX9 graphics driver(the one you seem to use)... and uncheck the "Use texture compression" option.

On the other hand I see your VRAM usage too high ( 117Mb ). If you own a 128Mb graphics card gonna have problems with that. Try to reduce the size of the textures.

Btw, I see also your highpoly mehs is near 4M polys... not all the cards can manage that quantity. Usually for a 128Mb one the maximum number of tris/verts is 1M. Changing to OpenGL can help, because if a feature is not available by HW enters the emulation software mode ( but fear the speed ).

Try also to update your graphics card's drivers.

And, finally, try to use Vista with DX10... it has a new virtualized VRAM driver model that can help.

Last edited by jogshy; 04-06-2008 at 10:06 AM..
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Ged's Avatar
Old (#16)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jogshy View Post
It seems you are running out or VRAM.

Try to enable the texture compression. Go to the plugin manager, select the DX9 graphics driver(the one you seem to use)... and uncheck the "Use texture compression" option.

On the other hand I see your VRAM usage too high ( 117Mb ). If you own a 128Mb graphics card gonna have problems with that. Try to reduce the size of the textures.

Btw, I see also your highpoly mehs is near 4M polys... not all the cards can manage that quantity. Usually for a 128Mb one the maximum number of tris/verts is 1M. Changing to OpenGL can help, because if a feature is not available by HW enters the emulation software mode ( but fear the speed ).

Try also to update your graphics card's drivers.

And, finally, try to use Vista with DX10... it has a new virtualized VRAM driver model that can help.
thanks for the reply, Im still having issues with this as youve seen in my dom war thread. I will try enabling texture compression but I dont have any textures yet. This is confusing because I have an 8800GT 512MB and 2GB ram so I just assumed this should be working. Ive tried playing with the size and turning use cage on and off and it isnt making any difference but maybe its all linked to this vram problem.

Edit: Ok I tried opengl and it now runs ok in the viewer but Im still getting the same issues when I click on bake so I will try reset xform in max on the low poly before export...with a new obj exporter that Im looking for now.

Last edited by Ged; 04-06-2008 at 02:16 PM..
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Whargoul's Avatar
Old (#17)
I prefer it when the cage doesn't skew the ray direction. Maya's is pretty nice, because you can just fuck with the cage however you want without worrying about point order, and screwing up the raycasts. Maybe that could be an option in xNormal? ie just use the cage as a ray-limiter and not the ray direction?
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Mongrelman's Avatar
Old (#18)
Hi, been having a problem baking AO today. I've not been using the simple AO tool (didn't like my meshes) so was just doing it the old fashioned way. The normal maps and texture bakes worked fine, but I get this result with the AO:



It's using a bucket size of 32, and I've tried different samplings but the same thing happens.

My computer is dual core with 2gb ram and an ati 1950xt using windows xp sp2.

Any ideas? Cheers.
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jogshy's Avatar
Old (#19)
Btw Ged.. with a 8800GT and 512Mb just forget all what I told about VRAM.
Try to reinstall xNormal... perhaps the ui.png texture was corrupted for some reason and that's why you cannot see the UI well. Also sure you have the latest NVIDIA drivers... the 8800GT is relatively new card so I bet the drivers aren't very mature yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongrelman View Post

Nice effect lol!

That banding usually appears because probably you need more samples per pixel. By default uses 16... try 64 or more. Also sure you disable the "adaptive AO" setting it to the same than the # of rays per pixel ( 64 in this case ... so use 64 rays per sample AND 64 also in the "Adaptive interval" )

Also increase a bit the AO bias... perhaps is a problem with self occlusion.

Also try to enable(or disable) the "weighting"... it can cause strange artifacts sometimes.

Caution with the 3dsmax OBJ exporter because messes the vertex normals. Better export it as SBM, 3DS, FBX, ASE, etc.

Have you tried to scale the mesh up and see if that helps? Perhaps is a floating point precision error due to small object radius.

Btw, if you can send me that mesh by email better... I'm curious how that result was produced hehe!

Quote:
Recently I've been trying a new approach to occlusion rendering:

- Render the occlusion to high-poly vertex color.
- Transferring that to my low-poly texture.

Anyone using that tech? Pros / cons , anyone?
Is fine. Usually is very fast and gives good results to compute the per-vertex-AO with the Simple GPU AO tool... and then uncheck the "Ignore per-vertex-AO" so the xnormal software renderer could use the per-vertex-AO computed from the Simple GPU AO tool.

Btw, i'm working on the 3.14.6 with some UI improvements lilke Drag'n'drop, better remember folder system, multiple mesh erase, automatic save meshes reassignment and also experimenting with a new thing called "harden normals". Also gonna buy a graphic tablet to improve input support.

Last edited by jogshy; 04-07-2008 at 10:31 AM..
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jogshy's Avatar
Old (#20)
Mongrel, here is my result with some tweaking:



My settings:






I imported your OBJ. Entered the 3D viewer. Adjusted the cage and saved it as a SBM. Reassigned the meshes and rendered with those settings.

So I bet the problem was just the adaptive AA, the bias and the attenuation ( notice I set the linear atten to zero ).

Hope it helps.
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rooster's Avatar
Old (#21)
i know its an error and it sucks but.. hmm looks kinda cool
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ivars's Avatar
Old (#22)
Recently I've been trying a new approach to occlusion rendering:

- Render the occlusion to high-poly vertex color.
- Transferring that to my low-poly texture.

Anyone using that tech? Pros / cons , anyone?

Don't know if this is the right place to ask, just curious what you guys think.
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Joshua Stubbles's Avatar
Old (#23)
I haven't tried it yet, but it does seem to be beneficial. For one, the AO calc for vert colors is done on the graphics card, which makes it insanely fast compared to raytraced AO output. The downside is that the lighting solution is only as accurate as the amount of verts in your highpoly. For an organic mesh that might not be an issue, but with rigid body models you might not always have enough to make it look decent.
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ivars's Avatar
Old (#24)
I've noticed Mental Ray crashes when I try rendering to vertecies on meshes above 400k tris....
Looks like I'm running out of memory, didn't think it should be that demanding.
But like you say it works pretty well on organic meshes, and it's quite alot faster than rendering directly to texture.
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Ged's Avatar
Old (#25)
I think I might have figured out what is causing the rays to fail on some of my models...Im getting alot of backface hits, does that mean I need to flip my normals on my whole mesh or something?
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