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Thread: Free Video: Baking Normal Maps in LightWave with DP_Kit

  1. #1
    Super Member dwburman's Avatar
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    Free Video: Baking Normal Maps in LightWave with DP_Kit

    This isn't the only way to do this, but it seems to work nicely. LW11.5 makes it just a little bit nicer since VPR can now properly preview the Surface Baking Camera as long as VPR isn't set to Draft mode.


    http://youtu.be/0OW2PTkSVNM
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  2. #2
    LightWave documentation BeeVee's Avatar
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    Very




    nicely




    done





    Dana.


    (Sorry, sometimes my typing drops to 1wpl for some reason)

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  3. #3
    Yes, very nice. I enjoyed the tutorial, thanks for making it.

  4. #4
    Super Member dwburman's Avatar
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    Glad it helps. I know this process has been a bit of a mystery for some people... myself included.

    [mr] Dana W. Burman | http://dwburman.com
    Motion Graphics for sale at Pond5 Stock Footage
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  5. #5
    Thanks for this Dana

    Can you test the attached scene and surface with your object to see if it give the same result?

    If I understand the concepts right, this type of Normal Map generation its just 3 Incidences making a color, so it should render the same results.

    This way you don't need to rely on Surface baking Camera or UV Map, just dial in the Orto Camera the size of the UV Texture.
    The Y/Green channel might need a toggle on its "Invert" option depending where the map will be used.

    Cheers
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by probiner; 03-09-2013 at 03:18 PM.

  6. #6
    Super Member dwburman's Avatar
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    Hey, probiner, thanks for posting the scene. It's nice to have options... especially when they use the native tools.

    Your scene looks particularly useful for making texture tiles for floors and walls and such.

    I basically went with a simple plane as a demonstration platform to show the node and camera workflow. It works on objects of any shape, not just flat tiles. The node and camera setup also works on single objects where you aren't transferring detail from a high resolution object to a low resolution object, but instead are just baking your bump and normal maps into a single normal map for export.
    [mr] Dana W. Burman | http://dwburman.com
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  7. #7
    Ah yes I missed that is works for 3D objects completly, since in the video it's used for 2D. So it triggered something I wanted to do for a long time: a 2D normal map rig scene.
    For 3D stuff I think I'll use it just for simple stuff and to re-bake maps. xNormal baker is still quite better than LW on this area.

    While doing it I also notice I can do that you say, baking several bump and normal maps into one. It's nice.

    I would only point out that both offset distances from the camera and the node here, make the renders slower than just using an Orthographic camera. But that just might be my old pc, pranking me

  8. #8
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    Tangent Space means Texture Space,
    Normal Cast node does this conversion for complex UV mapping
    using the Surface Baking Camera,
    so for simple planar projection mapping and Orthographic Camera,
    such conversion could be indeed more simple,
    Incidence node does a dot product (cos angle)
    so it is not correct,
    inverting one or two axes (x & y)
    shifting and scaling the normal to get a normalized Color
    or use the Normal Pass node from Trueart.

    Denis.

  9. #9

    yep, pretty easy, you can also create a height map >
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7fINI4DpeI
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by dpont View Post
    Tangent Space means Texture Space
    Hi Denis
    This is a neat clarification, thank you! I totally missed the 3D aspect of the Node at first.

    Quote Originally Posted by dpont View Post
    Normal Cast node does this conversion for complex UV mapping
    using the Surface Baking Camera
    Cool, I just referenced xNormal because it uses also a Cage system, in LW both the node and the baking Camera use a fixed search distance everywhere and the Camera's border usually is not great.


    Quote Originally Posted by dpont View Post
    Incidence node does a dot product (cos angle)
    so it is not correct,
    Quote Originally Posted by dpont View Post
    or use the Normal Pass node from Trueart.
    I tried to read a little about dot product, but I couldn't understand more why would not give accurate results. So I decided to just render the 3 methods (Normal Cast, TA Normal Pass, Incidence) and their results are pretty much the same, so I couldn't account inaccurate results at this level, maybe it's something is show up more on 3D projections?
    Attached an image (see full zie) where I compared each method (Orto camera on all), the top layer is set to Difference and a Threashold over all to sign different pixels. Threashold at level 2 just vanishes all "halo" differences, Incidence works just fine in this particular case(only 2 pixels different than Normal Pass), just that the Rendering Anti-Aliasing system will give different results when rendering the objects (TA Normal Pass, Incidence) and rendering a simple plane (Normal Cast). No?

    Cheers
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by probiner; 03-10-2013 at 12:52 PM.

  11. #11
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    I can't get the same result for the incidence setup and the normal pass,
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	112394 Click image for larger version. 

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    In this specific case for normal pass (Projection Planar Z)
    no other calculation than inverting axes of the normal for convenience
    (here multiplied x and y by -1)
    and the color conversion ( a positive vector clamped to 1).

    Denis.

  12. #12
    Super Member dwburman's Avatar
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    Thanks for pointing out the heightmap option, erikals.
    [mr] Dana W. Burman | http://dwburman.com
    Motion Graphics for sale at Pond5 Stock Footage
    Check out my tutorials at Liberty3d.com & my YouTube channel!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by dpont View Post
    I can't get the same result for the incidence setup and the normal pass,
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	112394 Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	112393

    In this specific case for normal pass (Projection Planar Z)
    no other calculation than inverting axes of the normal for convenience
    (here multiplied x and y by -1)
    and the color conversion ( a positive vector clamped to 1).

    Denis.
    Denis don't use that scene I posted in this thread. I had the blue channel badly setup (90 Incidence instead of 180). Use this one: http://forums.newtek.com/showthread....p-Baking-Scene (damn edit time limit, one can't just fix errors)

    LW Incidence (not so red and green since the blue channel is properly setup)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    TA Normal Pass
    Click image for larger version. 

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    DP Normal Cast
    Click image for larger version. 

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    These 3 images generated the pixel difference images in the previous post.

    Will try to replicate what you posted. Though I must admit that tech language leaves me behind, trying to keep up

    Cheers

    Dana, sorry for the hijack, I tried to shift to another thread but reply pushes reply and here we are...
    Last edited by probiner; 03-10-2013 at 04:27 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by probiner View Post
    ...Will try to replicate what you posted. Though I must admit that tech language leaves me behind, trying to keep up ...
    3 steps,
    Spot Info -> Smoothed Normal output
    -> Math Vector Multiply (-1, -1, 1) (x & y inversion)
    -> Math Vector Add (1, 1, 1) (shifting normal values from -1<-> +1 to positive range 0 <-> +2)
    -> Math Vector Scale (0.5) (scaling in range 0 <-> +1)



    Denis.

  15. #15
    Ah thanks for the details, yeah I guess this is where I should have headed first. Gives the same pixel result as the incidence setup but it is just plain simpler/clever


    Cheers
    Last edited by probiner; 03-10-2013 at 07:01 PM.

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