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Thread: SurfaceBaker-like plugin

  1. #1

    SurfaceBaker-like plugin

    If I'm not mistaking the SurfaceBaker is not a real plugin (in a .p file), it's an internal feature.

    Would it even be possible to create a plugin with the same functionality, does the SDK have enough exposed for it? (I'm having a hard time seeing how it would be done without an undesireable hack)

    I'd really need to be able to do the same as SurfaceBaker, to access all kinds of channels (raw color result of all shaders applied, spec, bump etc.) for an arbitrary point on a surface (I'll handle the rasterization myself).

    Basically it seems that all I need is the same functionality as rayShade() except without the tracing involved (since during rasterization I know the hit point), that will just be inaccurate and slow (speed is of importance).

    If the surface interface had an evalute function it might also have worked.

    It's just so frustrating that it would have to fail on such a stupid detail.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myagi
    ...Would it even be possible to create a plugin with the same functionality...
    Like this ?
    Your FIRST impression NEVER gets a SECOND chance !!!!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by trick
    Like this ?
    Hard to say exactly how it works, but it seems to be the general idea.

    Question is if they are using tracing functions to sample surface info or something else I've missed.


    Unfortunately there seems to be no trial version, and I'm not willing to shell out $495 just to see if it happens to have exactly the features I need or not (and there's also a very big risk that I have to write a plugin myself anyways to suit my specific needs and tools).

  4. #4
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    Just ask EVS3D anything you like. I know there has been a demo for Lightwave and don't exactly know why they removed it; just ask them.

    If you have any user specific questions just ask me: Microwave is a very solid baking machine compared to baking with Lightwave Surface baker, MAX's RTT (render to texture), VRay's tBaker and Finalrender's baker, especially when combined with normal maps...
    Your FIRST impression NEVER gets a SECOND chance !!!!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by trick
    Just ask EVS3D anything you like. I know there has been a demo for Lightwave and don't exactly know why they removed it; just ask them.

    If you have any user specific questions just ask me: Microwave is a very solid baking machine compared to baking with Lightwave Surface baker, MAX's RTT (render to texture), VRay's tBaker and Finalrender's baker, especially when combined with normal maps...
    Thanks, I'll ask them about the demo.


    Some of the more important feature questions, if you feel like answering, would be

    - how fast does it bake (without any kind of illumination), roughly? if you had a model of 100k-500k and the low poly 1k-3k, are we talking under a minut, couple of minutes or signifficantly more?

    - does it support exporting separated (baked) textures of raw color and specular channels?

    - does it have an option to extend "edges" on a baked texture (needed for correct filtered mip-mapping on graphics hardware)



    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Myagi; 05-04-2005 at 12:22 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myagi
    ...how fast does it bake (without any kind of illumination), roughly? if you had a model of 100k-500k and the low poly 1k-3k, are we talking under a minut, couple of minutes or signifficantly more?...
    That's very subjective: it has LW's native renderspeed, not LW's Surface Baker speed and "stability" if you catch my drift. MW is rocksolid and relatively fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Myagi
    ...does it support exporting separated (baked) textures of raw color and specular channels?...
    Yes: there is a color mode for raw (unilluminated) color and a specular mode for either raw or illuminated specular and can be saved seperately...

    Quote Originally Posted by Myagi
    ...- does it have an option to extend "edges" on a baked texture (needed for correct filtered mip-mapping on graphics hardware)
    Yes: out-of-polygon pixels can be copied beyond the edge by a specified number of pixels
    Your FIRST impression NEVER gets a SECOND chance !!!!

  7. #7
    Thanks for the answers!

    Quote Originally Posted by trick
    That's very subjective: it has LW's native renderspeed, not LW's Surface Baker speed and "stability" if you catch my drift. MW is rocksolid and relatively fast.
    Just to clarify what I'm after, I'm not interested in rendering in LW with the resulting baked textures and objects, I'm only interested in MW producing the baked textures for me, and that's the speed that's important to me. Basically the time from pushing some render/process button to having my baked un-illuminated color, specular, normal textures on disk.

  8. #8
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    There are gamestudios that bought LW just to be able to use Microwave. However that has changed since it is available for Maya.

    If you want to bake textures from a model that renders in 10 seconds in LW, then it is THAT time you will have the textures on disk. It will take more time of course if you have a Zillion SDS Poly object that you want to bake to a 1K poly low res mesh...
    Your FIRST impression NEVER gets a SECOND chance !!!!

  9. #9
    Microwave is very buggy, compared to native Surface Baker. I had many situations, where Microwave was completely incompatible with my models, but Baker works just perfectly every time. But Microwave is easier to use, I think Newtek should rework Baker`s interface and make it more like Microwave.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by AVT
    Microwave is very buggy, compared to native Surface Baker. I had many situations, where Microwave was completely incompatible with my models, but Baker works just perfectly every time. But Microwave is easier to use, I think Newtek should rework Baker`s interface and make it more like Microwave.
    As Vader would say, I find the lack of source disturbing. Newtek should just release more source instead, that would do a lot more good than only fixing some things. There will always be deadlines and specialized needs (that's the reason SDKs exist), sometimes fixed with just a few minutes of coding if the code was available.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVT
    Microwave is very buggy...
    If this is the case, did you sent EVS3D the complete scenes: they are normally very fast in fixing things
    Your FIRST impression NEVER gets a SECOND chance !!!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVT
    Microwave is very buggy, compared to native Surface Baker. I had many situations, where Microwave was completely incompatible with my models, but Baker works just perfectly every time. But Microwave is easier to use, I think Newtek should rework Baker`s interface and make it more like Microwave.
    I haven't seen any bugs myself. The only limitation I have run into are in baker as well. After I got microwave I haven't touched baker except for Inside LW8.

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