View Full Version : Baking height maps / normal maps

03-13-2008, 04:56 AM
Dear friends,

I know there is a plugin to bake normal-maps from highpoly meshes onto lowpoly ones.

But how can I bake a height-map from a highpoly mesh? I found some hacks at some internet sites to do it for an image via self-illuminated materials and gradients.
But how can I do it in kind of baking? How can I project a complete grayscale height-map into a uv-map with black for low and white color for higher pixels?


03-13-2008, 05:30 AM
what version of lw are you using?

newer versions give you two options:

1. the orthographic camera option, where you would place the camera above the terrain, point it down and render your surfaced mesh.

2. surface baking camera, which would render your surfaced mesh to it's uv-map.

afaik, a gradient dependent on y-height is your best option for surfacing.

03-13-2008, 05:39 AM
Thank you for the reply.

I understand this and the idea works for terrain or flat objects. But what can I do to bake it around an organic model into a flat uv-map (like the normal-mapping plug-in does)? Do you think the baking camera will do?

I have LW 9.x

03-13-2008, 06:03 AM
afaik, a gradient dependent on y-height is your best option for surfacing.

This will not work if I use surface baking camera, especially if I have an organic model. The gradient should be dependent on the normal of every height pixel on a certain polygon.

I dont know if something like that is possible.

03-13-2008, 10:50 AM
Have not used it for a while,
but (DP_Kit) Normal Cast node has also an Height output,
it works in the UV-map and works with the SB Camera.


04-22-2008, 08:43 AM
Thanks for the reply. I will check that out. I see the dp-kit tools for the first time but it looks promising.