PDA

View Full Version : Surface baking nodes?



IMI
05-20-2007, 12:39 PM
I've been using the surface baker shader plugin for quite a while now, so I do know how to set it up - well at least until now, I guess.
This is the first time I've tried this in LW 9.2 using nodes, and I spent a good while getting a nice texture (using FPrime to see what was happening). When I started the F9 Lightwave render, it did the usual thing - the surface baking was happening like normal, but after it was through, the texture it created was just a solid color, not at all what it looked like.
The nodes I used were fairly simple - no SSS or any of the materials like Sigma or anything - just a 2d image node, UV mapped, of course, and some 3D nodes like marble. Just playing around.
Does the surface baker not work with nodes or something? Or is there something else I'm missing here?

Ztreem
05-20-2007, 12:46 PM
I don't think the surface baker works with nodes as it's a shader. But you can use the surface baking camera it supports nodes and even Fprime supports it. I like the surface baking camera a lot more then the old surface baking shader, give it a try.

Dodgy
05-20-2007, 12:47 PM
It does work with nodes, I've been doing all sorts with it. Can you share the scene?

Ztreem
05-20-2007, 12:52 PM
It does work with nodes, I've been doing all sorts with it. Can you share the scene?

See, you learn something new every day. :)

IMI
05-20-2007, 12:57 PM
That scene, no, I can't, because it has some proprietary textures and models in it I can't share, lest my partner crucify me, but I could set up something similar easily enough to upload. I'll do that soon as I have a chance.

Thanks for the surface baking camera suggestion, Ztreem, I will give that a try. I haven't gotten anywhere near that yet, so I guess I need to read up on it. :)

Bytehawk
05-20-2007, 01:51 PM
AFAIK

surface baker doesn't work with nodes
surface baking camera does and is really recommended to use now. The old 'surface baker' is only there as a legacy.

Captain Obvious
05-20-2007, 02:15 PM
The surface baking shader is rubbish anyway. Why would you want to use it?

Dodgy
05-20-2007, 04:02 PM
Sorry, misread in my haste. The only reason to use the surface baking shader now is to bake illumination into vertices, everything else is better done in the surface baking camera.

IMI
05-20-2007, 04:22 PM
The surface baking shader is rubbish anyway. Why would you want to use it?


I don't know, I don't consider it rubbish. Why I would want to use it though is because I like to make a quick base texture out of procedurals to have something to start with for painting on. I find it especially useful for landscape mesh textures and bump maps.

Although I do have to admit that with the advent of LW 9-9.2, I'm going to be re-thinking alot about texturing, particularly surface baking.

Captain Obvious
05-21-2007, 03:25 AM
In LW9, there's a camera type that does baking. It's like the surface baker on steroids with FPrime compatibility.

IMI
05-21-2007, 04:09 PM
In LW9, there's a camera type that does baking. It's like the surface baker on steroids with FPrime compatibility.


Yeah, you're not kidding! I had never tried the surface baker camera before, but now I can't see ever going back to the old way. :)

Captain Obvious
05-21-2007, 05:33 PM
Now you know why I consider the surface baking shader rubbish. :)

IMI
05-21-2007, 06:12 PM
Yeah, so much for waiting 5 minutes for even just a 1024x1024 image to bake.
I'm using LW 9.2, but still largely with an 8.5 approach. It makes me wonder how much else I'm missing out on. ;)
Just haven't had the time to properly explore all the new features.

Iain
05-22-2007, 06:02 AM
I'm baking a 2400x2400 full house texture map right now and FPrime is just zipping through it.

It feels like I'm cheating :thumbsup:

sammael
05-22-2007, 07:05 AM
Yep surface baking cam rocks, you can even bake the surface of one object to another, low detail game characters for example.

MSherak
05-23-2007, 11:06 PM
The one thing that is missing from the Camera Baking is Vertex Colors..

You still have to use the Surface Baker for this.. So it is needed until the baking gets a little more robust..

IMI
05-24-2007, 12:32 AM
I've been playing around with it for a couple days now, and I have to say I don't particularly understand it all that well.
The "old" surface baker is alot more predictable, but probably because I'm missing something here.

For one thing, if you have, say, only 1 light on your model, the SB cam will create a map that's dark everywhere except where the model is lit. The Old SB will only do that if you select 'Bake Illumination".
I quickly determined that turning off the light and cranking the ambient light up makes a good, even map though, so that's no big deal.

but I don't really understand the purpose of the distance and flip settings.

In all honesty, although the SB Camera is alot quicker, I feel I get better results the old way, although, again I'll say again I'm sure it's my ignorance of the tool's features that makes me think that.

Is there anymore information out there regarding detailed specifics and practical applications, tutorials, etc. for the SB Camera? or do any of you have any tips or suggestions? The manual doesn't really seem to have much to say about it, beyond briefly describing the settings.

Thank. :)

Dodgy
05-24-2007, 03:06 AM
Well the flip setting is very useful, for UV sets which are 'upside down' like the sets from Zbrush, where v of 0 is at the top and v of 1 is at the bottom.
As for the distance setting, if you're baking a complex object, the camera might penetrate the object at deep corners so this allows you to pull it away a bit.

I've used it a lot, from baking normal maps to just baking a procedural onto a colour map so I have a marble surface with no seams.

MSherak
05-24-2007, 09:46 AM
I would like to see the options in Surface Baker show up in the Camera one.. Plus Newtek really needs to make a object and tangent normal nodal shader.. So many uses for this now it should be in the package..
Though the most robust was baking when I used it a couple years ago was
Microwave..

http://www.evasion3d.com/mw_lw_intro.html

I don't know if it works in 9.2 but since their site says 2003 was the last update, though it does say 7.x through 9.x, maybe peeps should be pushing for an updated one.. Or if they are not updating anymore seeing if Newtek could get it.. From what I remember there was nothing that you could not bake with Microwave..

Another area I would really like to see Newtek work on is Vertex Colors.. Specifically in the area of Vertex Alpha.. If you could select if you wanted them to be SurfaceAlpha or TransparentAlpha like you can in VertexPaint that would be wonderful..

Ztreem
05-24-2007, 10:31 AM
Newtek really needs to make a object and tangent normal nodal shader..

Here's a normal shader node if you want one. http://perso.orange.fr/dpont/plugins/nodes/NormalCast.html

MSherak
05-29-2007, 11:52 AM
Here's a normal shader node if you want one. http://perso.orange.fr/dpont/plugins/nodes/NormalCast.html



OOOOOooooooo Thank you.. Very interesting that I have not seen that page before..

Thomas M.
06-06-2007, 11:53 AM
I'm pretty pi**ed off that I can't bake vertex color with the baking camera.

dpont
06-06-2007, 12:57 PM
I can do it with my "useless" win32 Surface Cast node,
from an (vertex mapped) object to another with SB Camera,
it works like Normal Cast node but you can cast the color
channel on the baked object:
http://perso.orange.fr/dpont/plugins/nodes/SurfaceCast_x32.zip

Denis.

dpont
06-06-2007, 02:44 PM
But absolutly "useless" here, can bake the first color vertex
mapped object onto the second (Unseen By Camera) and
selected with the SB Camera, simply duplicate the object with
different surface name.

Denis.