View Full Version : Best Way to Baking Hard Surface Normal maps

04-28-2016, 11:55 AM
Hi there!

My question is simple: Is there a best pipeline to bake normal maps from a hard modeled mesh made in Modeler? I have a High-poly and a Low-poly, and the uvs are matching. I use Lightwave 2015.

I tried with Xnormal, but i don't know if is the best solution.

I tried to look at the anwser but I didn't get it.

Thanks a lot in advance!!! :thumbsup:


04-28-2016, 12:36 PM
Typical baking is done in Layout,
Surface Baking Camera or
Batch Baking Camera http://batchbakingcamera.trueart.eu (it has less errors in render, less "holes", and better support for borders, as you can see on video tutorial available on page).
You set one object to be invisible to rays, other invisible to camera.
Pick up UV (in Surface Baking Camera, Batch Baking Camera does not need this),
and set up nodes in Node Editor.
Take Spot Info > Normal, change to Color (there are nodes that convert it), and plug to Diffuse Shading.

Change Node Editor node trees and you have Ambient Occlusion baked,
change again content, and you have Raw Color, Shadows, etc, etc.
So you have everything what you need, to look good in game engine.

04-28-2016, 04:37 PM
Wow. Great help. Will try and share the result. Thanks!

04-28-2016, 06:56 PM
Another question, which node should use to convert to color the Normal info? I can't find one.


04-28-2016, 07:09 PM
Node Library > Normal Pass,
DPKit > Cast Normal

04-28-2016, 08:39 PM
Well, super thanks!!! but, I think i'm doing something wrong... Sory if I miss some basic conf.


04-28-2016, 08:45 PM
Plug it to Diffuse Shading, not to Color.
Height output leave alone.

04-28-2016, 08:48 PM
hmmm, still without normal color...


(Sensei thank you so much for your patience...)

04-28-2016, 08:53 PM
Diffuse Shading, not Diffuse.

Red output, to red input,
green output, to green input,
blue output, to blue input.
Unless you know what are you doing, and how it will affect everything.

04-28-2016, 08:56 PM
You are a magician.....:hammer: Thankkkkks!!! I promise I will share the result with the normal applied.

04-29-2016, 04:00 PM
Sorry, but I see different color with a classic normal map. Is that possible? :P I think we are close....


04-29-2016, 04:19 PM
Open Normal Cast options and check what it offers.
It quite looks like opposite version.
I don't have DPKit installed here and LW, to check by myself ATM.
Also check Normal Pass (TrueArt's Node Library).

Remember you can multiply vector by vector.
-1,-1,-1 will flip all X,Y,Z to their opposite.
-1,1,1 will flip just X, etc. etc.
Alternative is to flip RGB, but then you have to subtract 1-r,1-g,1-b for instance.

04-30-2016, 12:38 AM
Sorry, but I see different color with a classic normal map. Is that possible?

Cyanished normal map are commonly in Tangent Space,
make sure you checked this option,

also depends what is your final usage for this map
for Lightwave Normal Map node,
check the LW compatibility option,

for other applications you may need
to invert some axis,

Optimize UV Border option may help
for atlas UV Map type.

when the lores model is close to the hires one,
a short distance is better for the map,
if you get some black hole,
increased this distance,
VPR is usefull for adjusting things.

Don't forget for backing with Surface Backing Camera,
in Object Render Properties,
the Lores must be Unseen by Camera,
the Hires must be Unseen by Rays.