handplane has been released and support has been moved to this thread:
handplane is a new tool being developed by Luke Hodorwicz
with the goal of solving tangent basis mismatch issues across multiple game engines. We are currently at an early beta status and wanted to open the tool up to more people for feedback. handplane is not a baking tool but instead acts as a tangent space calculator. The basic workflow is object space normals + lowpoly model = engine specific tangent space normals:
There are several key advantages to this workflow:
You can keep baking in the software you already use. This also means that the tangent space result becomes package agnostic. For example, you can make a maya tangent space normal map as a 3dsmax user who bakes in xnormal.
Because baking and tangent space generation are separated into different processes the bake itself doesnt care what your normals look like. Baking becomes just a system of creating projections. As long as you arent breaking your UVs, you can make changes to smoothing and topology on your lowpoly model without having to actually rebake everything. In this case you would just run the new lowpoly model + original object space normals back through handplane for a tangent space map that reflects the changes made to the model.
Taking that idea further, you can bake with higher tessellation proxy geometry in order to solve projection issues like cylinder cap waviness and detail skewing. There is also the potential for generating normal maps for lod stages that dont create smoothing errors with the lower detail models.
We are looking for as much feedback as we can get from polycount members. This includes interface issues, bugs, workflow confusion, and small details of usability. Please post here, PM me, or email [email protected]
In all cases please include your name, and information about what kind of work you do (where you work, what engines you are using, what kinds of assets...)[size=+2]handplane has been released
changes detailed here:http://www.polycount.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1710509&postcount=117