xNormal - MASTER THREAD

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  • Robota
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    Robota null
    My naked man is not reaching his potential due to these baking errors, please help. For the most part, it seems that of the few errors, all of them happen close to a seam, or nearly hidden area.

    Any help would be great :D
  • FakePixels
    Hi All,
    This is my first post to this forum, but I'm having some problems with baking normal maps in xnormal.

    I've been getting these shiny reflective artifacts on the model. I've been looking online for hours trying to find what the issue is, but I can't seem to find anything.



    My current settings are .SBM files, mesh scale at 15, ray distance is worked out using the ray distance calculator, Average normals (gave best Result), external cage, I'm using the bucket renderer, 2x anti aliasing, 8 edge padding and a bucket size of 16. I've checked the cage and it covers all of the HP model.

    Any help as to why this happening would be much appreciated.
  • ajz
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    ajz null
    Is there any way of baking alpha to texture in xNormal? I need it for cutouts.
  • m4dcow
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    m4dcow polycounter lvl 7
    ajz said:
    Is there any way of baking alpha to texture in xNormal? I need it for cutouts.
    In the Alpha channel of every bake there is an alpha, I can't remember if you have to adjust padding for it to be a proper alpha map though, another annoyance is that map isn't anti-aliased.
  • ajz
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    ajz null
    m4dcow said:
    ajz said:
    Is there any way of baking alpha to texture in xNormal? I need it for cutouts.
    In the Alpha channel of every bake there is an alpha, I can't remember if you have to adjust padding for it to be a proper alpha map though, another annoyance is that map isn't anti-aliased.
    Thanks for the info, M4dcow.
    I ended up baking opacity from mesh with Substance Designer and blending it with a custom mask that regulates the occurrence of that baked map.
  • Opteryx
    Hey guys, I'm trying to bake some AO maps on buildings with interiors, but the problem is that the interiors are rendered completely dark. I've tried playing with the ray distance values but with little luck, either the interiors end up completely dark, completely white or details from the outside of the building mesh gets projected on the inside. Any tips how to bake AO interiors?
  • kurt_hectic
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    kurt_hectic polycounter lvl 6
    Cage.
    jogshy said:
    >>xNormal is that apparently every vertex index must be the same between the lowpoly and the >>cage; having the same number of vertices is not enough. Is this correct?
    The cage musty have the same TOPOLOGY:
    1. Equal #vertices and #faces.
    2. Same indices for the cage<->LP faces.

    In general, once your lowpoly is finished, create the cage using a clone operation.
    Then, you can MOVE the cage's vertices but NEVER add/remove vertices nor faces.

    Also, caution if you work with quads and you have the "Use shortest diagonal" enabled in the xNormal's triangulator. I recommend to triangulate all your meshes manually to avoid problems.

    >>the majority of your normal map's flat area has a color of 139,139,255
    Yep, caution with normalizing and also with gamma correction (specially for PNGs and OpenEXR ) :)

    In Plugin manager> obj Importer> Triangulator I have only one option: default.
    I looked for it, because I have serious problem with cage. Xnormal claim that my vertex index is changing when it's not. Triangulation in Xnormal sounded like the perfect suspect but like I said, I have only one option there.

    So, any other ideals?  Why me clone of the low poly mesh is very often gives an error:  vertex index bla bla bla? I seriously just use push mod on it and move few vertexes. (Push mod is safe, I've tested it).


    EDIT: potential solution, haven't tested yet:
    Export your cage from max together with low poly mesh, with projection mortificatior (important: under projection mod. you should have EditMesh mod. (editable mesh?)). Export all as xNormal format- SBM, with preset "Low definition mesh".





  • philipp.bogdanovskiy
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    philipp.bogdanovskiy polycounter lvl 3
  • Chubbydan
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    Chubbydan polycounter lvl 10
    Hi all,
    If someone can assist in height map generation that would be great......
    It sometimes works sometimes not but please see the image below for the error I'm currently getting and can't seem to shake.

    http://i819.photobucket.com/albums/zz114/Chubbydan_slob/Height_Example.png







  • logosm
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    logosm polycounter lvl 7
    Hello!
    Im trying to learn xnormal. I made normal map in max 2017 scanline render and in xnormal. I think map from max looks slightly better. What Im doing wrong? What is max -> xnormal workflow? Maybe I miss something...

    This is normal? This artifacts on flat surface?
  • jogshy
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    jogshy polycounter lvl 11
    We've created social accounts for xNormal :)

    https://twitter.com/xNormalApp
    https://www.facebook.com/xNormalApp
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjPmEODM2JNwmRwBEoY7tRw
    https://www.instagram.com/xnormalapp

    We'll try to upload interesting content there ( 3rd party tools, news, tutorials, devlogs, etc... ).

    And we hope to release the 3.20.0 soon.

    thx!





  • colombia0066
    hey guys trying to bake this cave scene but i keep getting these weird missing chunks iv tried bringing the low poly as close as possible and it doesn't seem to effect it any takes on what is causing this thanks a lot ??

  • colombia0066
  • jogshy
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    jogshy polycounter lvl 11
    @Opteryx You need to flip the normals. Also, create some hole in the geometry to the rays can escape to the exterior and reach "the sky" ( for instance, remove a wall or the roof). If not, the AO will be rendered in black.

    @philipp.bogdanovskiy That seems to be Z-fighting artifacts. Try to scale up the meshes and separate a bit the HP mesh from the LP one ( or give more distance to the cage ). Also, setup the cage in a way that covers completely the HP mesh.

    @logosm You might need to bevel a big the edges of your LP mesh. Also, make sure your smoothing groups and normals are well set.
    http://docs.cryengine.com/download/attachments/15745515/pic_7.jpg?version=1&modificationDate=1400151164000&api=v2

    @Chubbydan Try to use the manual tonemapping for heightmaps.
    Also, make sure you don't have overlapping geometry or multiple UV maps in the meshes when you export ( it's very easy to make a mistake and to export in the same file several meshes ).
    In 3ds Max, please remind to perform an Edit Mesh+ResetXForm+Collapse ( or Triangulate+Freeze transformations in Maya) before exporting.
    And setup the cage in a way that covers completely the HP mesh.





  • superdroso
    Hi, guys,
    Thanks for the thread, it's a mine gold !
    I would like to have your feedbacks on the following steps :
    - For "Normals" baking , what is your methodology ? Do you use a cage from the 3dviewer or just put a number inside the max and min rays checker (0.5) ? To be honest, i 've had always use the first one, but yesterday, i tried the second option, and i didn't see any differences.
    - For "AO" baking, i would like to accelerate the processing using the CUDA/optix option (cg card :980Ti inside), but each time that i run the process, xnormals crash :/ (version 3.19 for Xnormals and my CGdrivers are uptodate).
    Any idea ?
    Thanks again for your reply.
  • jogshy
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    jogshy polycounter lvl 11
    superdroso  , for complex shapes I recommend to use cages. For simpler objects like boxes, walls, etc... the uniform ray distance method usually just works.
    The latest xN version ( 3.19.2 ) has some problems with Maxwell/Pascal-based cards. We'll fix that soon with the 3.19.3.
  • superdroso
    @jogshy Thx for your reply. I'll be patient til the 3.20.0 v. release  :)
  • PixelApocalypse
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    PixelApocalypse polycounter lvl 5
    I'm trying to use the xnormal dilation photoshop plugin. Never used it but I'm using it now on a projection baked to uv's in maya but it's not doing anything. No dilation is happening and no errors.... Any ideas?
  • AlecMoody
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    AlecMoody interpolator
    Does the layer you are trying to dilate have transparency surrounding all of the shells? It's been a few years since I used that plugin but if I remember correctly the layer needs surrounding content to be deleted, not just a layer mask.
  • PixelApocalypse
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    PixelApocalypse polycounter lvl 5
    nope it didn't. awesome that works. :)
  • fides5566
    Hi!!
    First, sorry for my bad English :P. I have this normal problem.

    Those are just simple beveled edges, this is its high poly mesh.

    And this is the result of those artificial in the normal map.


    From what I have investigated so far, it's either because the beveled edges are too sharp or the UV size for this mesh is too small. Increase the high poly mesh polygons or triangulate doesn't help. Nor increase its cage size. However I just wonder if there is a way to fix this beside retouch the map in Photoshop. I also attached a rar file of all my meshes(low, high and cage I used).
  • fides5566
    NVM, it appears that it's because I didn't perfectly alight those UV seams to the perfect vertical. It's really slightly off from a perfect vertical and it changed the whole thing.


  • Rekov
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    Rekov vertex
    For the first time today I realized that you can GPU bake in xNormal, and it's way faster, however when I tried to do this for an AO bake I noticed that you can't use antialiasing for this method, and the result was quite a bit worse than when I CPU bake. Is this to be expected?
  • Psyk0
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    Psyk0 polycounter lvl 11
    wirrexx said:
    I'm stuck and i really need tough help. 
    I'm currently using Matcap redwax in Zbrush (with mrgb) and trying to export it as my Polypaint to bake down to lp in Xnormal. 
    My problem is that my Bake to highpoly vertex color is turning out totaly white (you clearly see where my uvs are but the uvs are pure white). 

    so my workflow
    So i'd like the information from the matcap (left picture) to bake down to my uvwed LP =)  (right side)
    1. sculpt highpoly
    2. Paint in redwax matcap with mrgb and use colorize
    3. Export it and open up xnormal
    4. I load in my hp, unchek ignore per vertex
    5. load in my Lp and check cage (using cage for this)
    6. use bake highpoly vertex color 

    results.. Pure white texture. 

    I'm trying to export a couple of matcaps to use in photoshop. but it's not working. 
    Quick check: before you export your high poly, select the "white" material if your model turns to pure white then you didnt actually bake the polypaint on the model.
  • jogshy
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    jogshy polycounter lvl 11
    Rekov said:
    For the first time today I realized that you can GPU bake in xNormal, and it's way faster, however when I tried to do this for an AO bake I noticed that you can't use antialiasing for this method, and the result was quite a bit worse than when I CPU bake. Is this to be expected?
    The current GPU renderer trades a bit of quality in favour of speed.
    Anyways, we're working on a new GPU renderer supporting AA. It's almost finished B)
  • PredatorGSR
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    PredatorGSR polycounter lvl 7
    I baked a displacement/height map in xnormal from a high poly model.  I baked it to a 16 bit tif as well as an 8 bit tif.  However when imported into zbrush as an alpha and used to draw out a shape, both the 8 bit and 16 bit tif both show almost identical banding/stepping.  

    This leads me to believe that either xnormal isn't using the full range of values when baked, or zbrush is crushing the values on import.  Is there a way to verify the xnormal side of things?  I also tried baking a 32 bit map and copying it into a 16 bit tif to downsample it, but the results were the same.  

    The upper rock in this image is the 16 bit, and the lower rock is 8 bit.  

  • PredatorGSR
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    PredatorGSR polycounter lvl 7
    I can upload all the files for a repro test if needed.  

  • PredatorGSR
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    PredatorGSR polycounter lvl 7
    Issue Solved! It turns out that zbrush can only accept uncompressed grayscale 16 bit psds.  I was able to disable the automatic photoshop compression, restart photoshop, and then convert the 16bit tif files to grayscale uncompressed 16bit psd files that worked in zbrush in true 16bit.  
  • animatoring
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    animatoring polycounter lvl 2
    Is there a way to bake multiple objects at once in xNormal with multiple maps per object set?

    For example, if I had 20 objects that needed a normal and displacement maps is there a way to use a script or some other method to import each set of objects (high and low poly set) for the 20 objects and bake two maps per object set?
  • jogshy
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    jogshy polycounter lvl 11
    Is there a way to bake multiple objects at once in xNormal with multiple maps per object set?

    For example, if I had 20 objects that needed a normal and displacement maps is there a way to use a script or some other method to import each set of objects (high and low poly set) for the 20 objects and bake two maps per object set?
    Currently, it's not possible but perhaps you could use the batch mode ( setup the .xml files and render passing them to the command line ). There are also some useful batchers for Maya/max/standalone written in python, etc... We have some listed in our FB/Twitter/blog.

    That's a thing we want to improve in future releases :)
  • Fuiosg
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    Fuiosg polycounter lvl 5
    Is there a way to get xnormal to stop adding alpha information to .png bakes?
  • jogshy
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    jogshy polycounter lvl 11
    Fuiosg said:
    Is there a way to get xnormal to stop adding alpha information to .png bakes?
    Currently, nope, but I might add an option for that ;)
    You could open the png file in Photoshop/Paint/etc and discard the alpha channel... or use the BMP format ( which only supports RGB channels ).
  • withered
  • olaveiras
    Hi guys, I'm trying a different type of baking (using XNormals), where I sculpted in zbrush a full body, but in topology, I prioritized just some regions that i'll really show up

    (white is the high res, green my low res mesh and purple the cage)

    My normal map aways get errors, even with cage. The belt part is hopeless. This attempt (cut off part of topology and try to bake anyways) is wrong?

    I'm using the default settings in XNormal, I've used Ray distance calculator and changed other options but nothing change.

    I'm uploading my 3 meshes from the print, if someone want to have a try.


  • olaveiras
    Okay, I found out that my workflow was a mess.
    I didn`t used the divide>project details>bake normals flow between zbrush and XNormal. Now it works perfectly :)
  • triton
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    triton vertex
    Any plans for XNormal on macOS?
  • asdaq
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    asdaq polycounter lvl 4
    Hi, 
    In the description of the xNormal I found vague information that says:
    "It supports high levels of parallelism using multicore/multithreading, distributed/parallel rendering, ray tracing and advanced GPGPU techniques." 
    I am especially interested in the "distributed (...) rendering" part. 
    Does this mean that xNormal has tools to set up network rendering? Or it will allow to create it with the SDK?
  • baserock love
    Hi.  I'm hoping one of you can help because Im at the absolute end of my wits here.  It seems completely random whether xnormal will let me use an external cage file.  I either get horrible results with a cage or i get this error 

    "the cage mesh in lowpolyCageFile has at face 0 a vertex index that doesn't match with the correspondent one for the mesh default inside the file".

      Something to that effect.  Lots of people get this error and it's always because they're using a max workflow or because they changed the topology on their cage.  My cage is literally just my low poly with some verts moved around so it's not possible that the topology is different.  I've tried triangulating it, not triangulating it, exporting nothing but the mesh with all the obj export switches set to off (I had to do this to get my first external cage to not appear to have different geometry to xnormal.).  I can have one cage file work, get horrible results, move a few verts in that cage file to try to figure out what's going on, export it and try again and the new one won't work even though it's the same mesh with just some verts pushed around.  

    I do the vert pushing in maya.  Has ANYBODY found a solution to this problem?  It seems the few people who have this issue that use maya either have an issue that doesn't apply to me, or they could just never get them to work and the thread died.

    Any help would be appreciated.  I'm at my wits end here.
  • mattpesquet
    Hey guys.
    i have few questions about Interactive height tonemapper, i m wondering what "Use logaritmic scale" and "smooth" option exactly do ?
    What are the benefits of using those options ? and what kind of difference should i expect between a displacement map with or without those options ? 
    I can see logaritmic scale basically make tonemapping more light, and smooth option add kind of contrast and produce darker result...

    Any information is welcome ! 
    thanks
  • Larry
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    Larry triangle
    Hello, why is this happening in the end of the baking? It bakes fine but in the end, all of these artifacts occur!

  • m4dcow
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    m4dcow polycounter lvl 7
    Larry said:
    Hello, why is this happening in the end of the baking? It bakes fine but in the end, all of these artifacts occur!

    Looks like edge padding to me.
  • maucerichris
    Hi Everybody,

    I am trying to use xNormal, but get some errors I don't understand......
    this is the objects I try to use for baking
    so I export this in xnormal, and set the normal map to +x-y+z ( I saw this in a tutorial ) and run the tool for calculating the distance.
    this is what I am getting when I render it:

    Any Idea?

    Thanks
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