Practicing baking - Pillar

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Bek greentooth
After reading Eathquake's excellent thread I decided to practice baking normals, hopefully doing it the right way. After some simple cubes I did a quick Zbrush sketch of a pillar. Here's the result, I'm mainly hoping for either :thumbup: or pointers on what to fix / general tips.




  1. Model basemesh in modo (Hard edges on UV seams)
  2. GoZ, Dynamesh model
  3. Used Michael Dunnam's free Zbrush brushes for detailing
  4. Exported High and Low to xNormal
  5. Baked with xNormal cage (averaged, exported mesh normals)
  6. Rendered in Marmoset

On the top of the pillar, where there are 90 degree concave parts, there are some errors which I assume are from my cage not being right. Any tips for areas like this or cages in general? I'll hunt for some xNormal tutorials sometime soon.

Should I have used more geo (bevel the edges) to decrease the gradients in the normal map? It appears to mip without any great weirdness in Marmoset, but that's as a tga.. (2048x2048 by the way)

In some cases I could have had less seams at the expense of a slightly more complicated UV layout. I'd also save a couple of verts doing this. Probably will get the hang of that with practice.

So, thoughts?


  • Bek
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    Bek greentooth
    After looking at it again this morning I realised I hadn't properly set hard edges on all the correct parts (Doing so in modo 501 is a bit of a pain really. For the islands of a cylindrical object, I have to set the smoothing groups like: A (for the polygons left of where I want the seam), AB (for the rest), B (for the polygons right of the seam). Being able to select edges > harden would be so much easier.)

    So less gradients because of the hard edges (which cost nothing because uv seams)
    Also fixed issues on the 90 degree parts by extruding xn cage more.

  • Ehsan Gamer
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    Ehsan Gamer polycounter lvl 6
    I think you should pay more attention to bigger damages too . It's kinda a cube shape with some scratches .

    take a look to some real life references
  • Bek
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    Bek greentooth
    Good point, although I mainly did a quick and simple model to test baking normals. If I were going to dedicate some time to it there would definitely want to be large chunks missing etc. Thanks though!
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