Announcing the handplane baker prop art contest!

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AlecMoody interpolator

Hello Polycounters. We are pleased to announce that we are working with polycount to run a contest for handplane baker. We just launched version 0.93 and it is now polished enough that we are looking for feedback on usability and suggestions for features to add. Handplane baker is free and you can download it from gumroad here:


Create a game prop of a hand plane. There is no specific triangle or texture resolution limit- keep it reasonable for game art. The model must be displayed in a game engine. The contest will run from December 8th 2016 to January 8th 2017.

Hand planes are one of the oldest wood working tools and there is an enormous amount of variety in how they look and what materials they are made from. Some examples:

We are looking for detailed feedback for the baker. To that end, create a thread and document your workflow. Do your best to provide feedback about what is working well and what needs improvement. We are looking for all kinds of feedback, nothing is too big or too small to discuss. Artists can submit more than one entry but should keep all entries contained in one thread. An artist can only win once.

*Produce a game res handplane prop and display it in the realtime engine of your choice. Your model must be baked using handplane baker.
*Create a thread in this subforum and keep it updated with your work in progress.
*Provide feedback about handplane baker. Let us know what is working well for you and where we need to improve.
*Upon completion, supply 2 images of your model in-engine. The images should be at least 1600px wide or tall. Also include an additional breakdown image showing texture flats and wireframes.
*Final images should be added to the first post of your thread no later than January 8th 2017
*If you create more than one entry, keep it all in the same thread.


Submissions will be judged based on quality of the final asset, presentation, and how well the artist made use of the baker feature set.  We will also consider the quality and depth of feedback in picking winners. All final images must be posted to the top of your thread by xx/xx/2016 (30 days).


1st place:  $500 steam gift card

2nd place: $300 steam gift card

3rd place: $100 steam gift card

If you haven't used our baker yet, watch this overview video from our initial release:

Handplane baker is all CPU based. There are a lot of advantages to keeping calculations on the cpu but there is one big drawback - AO calculation speed. AO is by far the slowest output and I generally don't bake AO until I'm sure my projection is perfect. It is very easy for users to over sample AO if they don't understand how the settings work. If you are new to our baker, please read this post about AO sampling:

We chose to keep everything on the CPU because it allows for fast baking of very large meshes. Handplane baker will chew through 20 or 50 million triangles very quickly.

In my experience, total time to bake all maps from handplane is about the same as with the GPU bakers I have tried. I think the advantage to being CPU based is that most of the render time is at the end of the process when you bake AO, and not waiting for gigs of mesh data to make there way to the GPU. This allows for fast test maps, checking projections, and iterating on your models.

For more info on how to set AO sampling read this post:

There is also a lot of good general knowledge in our handplane baker technical talk thread:

I will try to stay on top of users posts in this subforum. If I don't respond to a problem, feel free to PM me.


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