I wanted to test out an idea I had and the globe was the perfect candidate for it because it was a fairly symmetrical piece, not just in one direction but in several. It was also a simple object to create high poly geometry for if it didn't work out all I had to do was re-unwrap and bake it again.
Splines generate UV's which are squared off and easy to pack. Also when you run symmetry on something it stacks the UV shells nicely, all you need to do is offset them 1 tile to the right when baking. A fraction of the texture space covering the entire model, sweet! (not really)
Symmetry Fail on lightmap specular! yea not so cleaver now...
I might be able to use a smaller texture with a higher textel density if I could mirror a lot of the pieces. I thought I could deal with the seams the same way I normally would if it was mirrored along one axis.
The spec seams where more apparent when you walked around the object, it also looks like the specular is using the 1st UV channel which is heavily mirrored instead of the 2nd UV channel that is 100% unique and has welds over a lot of those seams... I'm getting the feeling that people just deal with this by hiding them. Which I'll do for now.
Maybe there is a way to get around this but I only found the typical mirroring fixes
with the note at the bottom:
"The guidelines on this page will help you avoid seams from diffuse static lighting, but there will still be seams in lightmap specular.
Which has since been edited...
If anyone gets seams figured out let me know.
The "Final" globe came out a little lower res, kind of blurry and I need to finish the diffuse and spec maps, but it doesn't have any distracting specular seams in noticeable places.
The high poly was a win
It was very easy to create, simple to apply the materials to the high and bake down to the low.
Spline based geometry is great I love it for everything from wires and pipes to trim around doors and even planter boxes and vases. Seriously they generate great UVs and allow for some incredibly fast efficient modeling techniques.
Here are some examples of how I work with spines.
Create a profile spline (point, click, point, click, or use a spine drawing tool, there is one in Graphite Modeling as well as scripts (soulburn scripts is great
Then apply the lathe modifier, then you can refine and tweak the original profile spline and it changes the shape of the entire piece.
Applying turbosmooth to the top of the stack is a great way to get a good preview, you can then go back down to the profile spline and work on one set of verts and it effects the entire piece. Need reenforcing edges? Click refine, click two points and you're done, no chamfer, no messing with caddies or cutting in loops, just drop in two points.
You can also remove points easily which is a great way to create your low poly. I select all the verts, then choose which one are the most important to the silhouette and deselect them. Again no unwrapping because its a spline. I love this method.
Sweep + Profile Shape = Horizontal Ring
(Horiz ring high poly pic)
QuadSphere and TriSphere tag team
(Tri-Quad Sphere pic) (tri-sphere texture pic)
I used a Quad Sphere
for the low poly and a higher poly Tri-Sphere for the easy diffuse material that was baked to the much more UV friendly QuadSphere. The trade off is better packed UV's but with a bit of distortion, however RTT works out the distortion for you so its painless.
(I forgot about RTT assist, next time
Just your standard explode-o-bake. Frame 0 all together, frame 1 all apart.
Baking more than the normal and AO
I also baked the specular and diffuse from the high poly. I took a few min to unwrap the high poly very sloppy UV's
but it looked good on the model with no seams which is all that mattered. Drawing a wood pattern across jumbled up UV shells and getting rid of diffuse seams could be quite maddening but it bakes seamlessly and easily so why not.