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LearningLightW
08-17-2007, 10:31 AM
Can someone answer this question please?

What's the difference between rendering an image(F9) of a detailed object then mapping it to a simplified object vs. surface baking? Basically, is the lightwave microwave/baker plugin necessary? And is there a difference between the microwave and baker plugin?

thanks!

Sensei
08-17-2007, 12:23 PM
What's the difference between rendering an image(F9) of a detailed object then mapping it to a simplified object vs. surface baking?

Surface Baking works from the all directions at once, but regular rendering image will work only for directly visible object areas, leaving back faces unmapped. There is also introduced distortion. In Surface Backing you are deciding by good/poor UV map, how much distortion will be in rendered surface.

Surface Baking is basically flying camera arround object's surface that you pick up from Camera panel additional options window..


Basically, is the lightwave microwave/baker plugin necessary? And is there a difference between the microwave and baker plugin?


Baking is good thing for game makers, and during exporting to different 3d apps, to realize procedural textures, nodes and shaders that are not available in them. I think Microwave had easier for not experienced user setup of making low-res version of hi-res object than LW v9.0+ surface baking, but if you will have right 3rd party nodes, and have time for experiments and find everything by yourself, it'll be cheaper solution.

IMI
08-17-2007, 03:48 PM
I'm a huge fan of surface baking. As Sensei noted above, ...to realize procedural textures, nodes and shaders.
I love to paint my own textures either with Body Paint 3D, or Deep Paint 3D, but 90% of the time after I UV map an object, I get a head start on it in Layout with the Surface Baker shader.
Doing that, you can end up with some really nice image maps very quickly that would take quite a while to manually paint.
The Surface Baking Camera is a different story entirely. I can't seem to get a handle on it, though other have said they like it alot more than the SB shader.

IMI
08-17-2007, 03:52 PM
Oh, but to add to that, if you make an image and map it to an object in some non-UV way, like Planar or Cylindrical, it's just applied to the model.
With Surface Baking, your model has to be UV mapped and the UV map has to be applied to it. It then creates an image file out of whatever procedurals or combinations thereof you have applied in the Surface Editor.

kevman3d
08-18-2007, 06:28 PM
The surface baking camera is an actual camera, rather then a shader plugin like the Surface Baker. This means you get a true render, with raytracing, etc, etc.

The benefits of this include extracting the various render buffers for all kinds of puproses. And its indeed a lot faster then the Surface baker as well...

Now, one reason you might want to bake is this. At my last LWUG meeting, I took a 37,000+ poly spaceship, and said 'now I want to create a huge fleet of these in a scene, but that's gonna crank up the render times, memory uses, etc'

Instead, I modelled a low-poly version that was slightly larger then the high-res one. I UV mapped the low res ship, and then placed them both into the scene on top of each other. I made the low-res viper 'unseen by camera' so it wouldn't get in the way of the camera, then used a surface baking camera to render the high-res viper onto the UV map of the low res... Viole! Now I had a 150 poly spaceship that now looked like the high-res one for creating my mass fleet! :D

That's just one practical use right there... Well worth the effort to set up and render out as a texture map... :thumbsup: