EdgeBlur in Maya and why we sould aim to implement it on bakers

interpolator
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Joao Sapiro interpolator
Hello everyone i made this image to ilustrate something i have been trying to get to be seen lately and only now had the time to write it up ! Hope i am clear and if you have any questions please write them :D

I have also attached the maya file and the respective objs and the TGAS for further comparizon

EDIT : trying to attach the image with the [img] tag so that it is fully zoomed in to no sucess, so please right click and choose view image . Sorry :(


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  • m4dcow
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    m4dcow polycounter lvl 7
  • Joao Sapiro
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    Joao Sapiro interpolator
    i never encountered that problem as i always set padding super high but yeah i think it can improve, its a matter of testing :D
  • Joshflighter
  • Goeddy
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    Goeddy polycounter lvl 6
    i know its not realy helpfull saying that, but usually the best solution for stuff like this is not getting into a position where you need it in the first place.
    tbh i don't quite see why you cant blur your normal in photoshop, if you have dialation on, your normal seams wont be affected by it.

    lets face it, if you are making a hero asset where this is realy important, you are gonna touch up the normal in photoshop anyways. and if you are making some generic stuff, then your texture res will probably be too low to notice. another solution would be the star citizen way of having your floaters as normal decals on the actual low poly.
  • pior
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    pior quad damage
    lets face it, if you are making a hero asset where this is really important, you are gonna touch up the normal in photoshop anyways.

    Touching up a normalmap on a hero asset is a recipe for disaster though - even merely blurring it would create artefacts/broken surfaces ...

    (Now of course if there is a deadline coming and there is no other way to fix an issue I can see how one would rely on this as a last resort. But other than that that's quite dangerous as it means that the asset cannot be rebaked if needed ...)

    Now I do agree that it is best to not even need edge softening in the first place, as you said it. But still I think it would be great to see it being more widely available, because some interesting art styles/workflows could be designed around it.
  • blankslatejoe
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    blankslatejoe polycounter lvl 12
    If I'm not mistaken, is this basically the rounded edge-width setting in Modo too?

    I know Tor Frick uses that all the time in his baking process. I agree that it should be in a lot more baking tools though.
  • Joao Sapiro
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    Joao Sapiro interpolator
    Goeddy said:
    i know its not realy helpfull saying that, but usually the best solution for stuff like this is not getting into a position where you need it in the first place.
    tbh i don't quite see why you cant blur your normal in photoshop, if you have dialation on, your normal seams wont be affected by it.

    lets face it, if you are making a hero asset where this is realy important, you are gonna touch up the normal in photoshop anyways. and if you are making some generic stuff, then your texture res will probably be too low to notice. another solution would be the star citizen way of having your floaters as normal decals on the actual low poly.
    that is basically adding more work when you can just tick a box and done , and if you read the guide , blurring in photoshop can work , but if you happen to have a seam etc your kinda screwed , i havent touched a normal map in years , the only exception is chips and other type of surface detail.

    just try it out for yourself :)
  • Neox
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    Neox interpolator
    Goeddy said:
    i know its not realy helpfull saying that, but usually the best solution for stuff like this is not getting into a position where you need it in the first place.
    tbh i don't quite see why you cant blur your normal in photoshop, if you have dialation on, your normal seams wont be affected by it.

    lets face it, if you are making a hero asset where this is realy important, you are gonna touch up the normal in photoshop anyways. and if you are making some generic stuff, then your texture res will probably be too low to notice. another solution would be the star citizen way of having your floaters as normal decals on the actual low poly.
    wow no, if you know your are done or some minor fixes in barely visible areas, but touching up synced normals is very often very visible. And why would you want to touch up the normal if you can bake it straight. the problem with this post work is, what is if the asset  gets changed significantly, Uvs need to be moved? every time stuff gets shuffles around you will fix the same stuff again.
  • huffer
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    huffer polycounter lvl 7
    For the record, Mightybake has a Blur option, but it's not exactly the same like in Maya - it will soften most other details too. But it's noticeably better than a Photoshop blur, as it keeps a bit more details, and fixes jagged-ness better.

    Apart from floater edges, a blur implementation will also help with intersecting highres edges (in xnormal they're really jagged), and with resolving super low res bakes, as seen below (same size, baked in 3dsmax, Maya and Vray, or with: no blur, default Maya and Vray Soften). 

    3dsmax has a good array of blur filters, but last I checked they only worked at regular renders, not baking, such a shame.

  • Joao Sapiro
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    Joao Sapiro interpolator
    by the way, 3ds max also has this feature :


  • huffer
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    huffer polycounter lvl 7
    But how do you get it to work with Render to texture...
  • Joao Sapiro
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    Joao Sapiro interpolator
    those settings are the same that are applied to render to texture.
  • EarthQuake
    I did some further research into this. It's essentially a Gaussian blur.

    It's not content aware, so it blurs everything indiscriminately and can cause problems with seams if you have a seam that cuts through anything with detail. If your seam is on an empty or relatively detail-less area, you probably won't notice any issues. The blur is also generally subtle enough that it won't cause major issues with seams.

    If you can bake in 16 bit rather than 8 bit, you can easily get the same effect no matter where you bake. It's important to bake in 16 bit so you can down sample to 8 bit and get proper dithering. We may add this to the Toolbag baker at some point, but for now, anyone who needs this feature can do it in Photoshop.



    Here's a link to that image in full resolution: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/499159/edgeblur.png

  • Neox
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    Neox interpolator
    while it might not be flawless and could definitely be better, you gotta admit of all the blurred results it has the least visible seam, because somehow it has the feature of the other side blurred into it. So i guess there is still happing more than just a posteffect blur?
  • EarthQuake
    Neox said:
    while it might not be flawless and could definitely be better, you gotta admit of all the blurred results it has the least visible seam, because somehow it has the feature of the other side blurred into it. So i guess there is still happing more than just a posteffect blur?
    As far as I can tell there's nothing more happening here. If you have any additional resources on how exactly Maya does it we would be happy to see it, but there is no evidence in my testing that this is anything more than a simple blur.

    The reason for difference in the seams is the actual color values in the original normal maps vary, so the exact appearance of seam varies as well. But it's clear that it's blurring in a very similar way, and that seams are not accounted for in Maya.

    You can check out the content here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/499159/Bake Blur Test.zip

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