3DS AO bake issue

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I've been having this issue for a while. When baking AO, using mental ray in 3ds max.

I've tried both 2012 and 2013, and they are both causing this issue. I've tried everything my search has yielded, and watched tutorials and followed them to the letter, but the issue seems to persist.

The issue is when baking AO, the render appears in the render window fine (albeit, without padding). The version of the file that it saves is completely solid black on the UV areas, the rest is white, as if there's no lighting.

While it would be fine to save from the render window, as I can do this and it saves fine, but the render window seems to ignore the padding setting and I can only paint the padding so much in PS.

Has anyone encountered this problem before? My google searches didn't reveal much.

Any other better way of baking AO could also work. Thanks in advance guys :)


  • Ace-Angel
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    Ace-Angel polycounter lvl 6
    It's a Max/MR issue that existed almost always. Only solution is to install XNormal, and use it's PS plugin called Dilation, to do the padding manually.
  • System
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    System admin
    So it is a bug! I was convinced I was doing something wrong because all tutorials, even other people in my community seemed to be able to do it fine. I'll look into Dilation, I've got xnormal but never used it's PS plugins before. Thanks for the tip :)
  • S-S
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    S-S polycounter lvl 13
    Hi there.

    I'm not sure if you encountered a bug but I for one certainly haven't found this kind of issue with mentalray AO baking. However there is issue with units. Please ignore the information below, if you are aware of this!

    All settings of Baked AO map are taken from "Render to Texture" panel and are in ** Generic unit scale**
    You added AO map, then the settings are below map. These values are not in ** display unit scale **. Most of the time there might be some other unit scale in use for display conversion of values (what you see in spinners and so on)

    1. Create a cube of 1m with one extrusion to see AO.
    2. Set display units to Generic. Add ***AO material*** to cube.
    3. Set Spread to 5, max distance to 10
    4. Set same values to Render to texture AO slot.

    Now if you render texture, then assign rendered AO map to duplicate of cube, you see that material AO, and baked texture AO have the same coverage and look. Now if you change to other display unit, you see that AO values in material panel are adjusted.
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