Object space to tangent space (Blender to Maya workflow)

polycounter lvl 4
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FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
I've been wondering that could it work if I had these meshes in Blender, for example:

* Character_HP
* Character_LP_quads_with_UVs (for rigging in Maya)
* Character_LP_triangulated_with_UVs
* Character_LP_triangulated_cage

Then bake object space normals in xNormal with HP and triangulated LP and LP cage. With exploded meshes if needed.

After the bake I'd export the quad mesh from Blender to Maya to import it, and have a .mb scene file for a rigger.

For the final step, I'd export the quad mesh from Maya with a final triangulation. I would assume that the difference would be slightly different triangulation than from Blender...

...sooooo, could I convert my object space normals to Maya (to use it for rigging if needed) or Unity tangent space with the new triangulated LP exported from Maya with handplane? Or am I still getting nasty shading errors/artifacts?

This whole thing, because I'm so much faster setting everything up in Blender for baking.


  • JedTheKrampus
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    JedTheKrampus polycounter lvl 4
    Yes, that should work fine as long as you don't deform the quad mesh in Maya before triangulating and exporting it.
  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    Alrighty, I'll test that. And if that's going to work, it will be HUGE time saver. Especially, because I'm working as an intern in a small game/animation & vfx studio which uses Maya, but they give me the freedom to use Blender though. (:

    EDIT: Usually the only thing that needs fixing between different 3D apps is the overall scale of the model, so that shouldn't be a problem.
  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    Yay, it indeed works! This is a very useful for anyone using Blender as their main modeling app, but need to set up their stuff for Maya, Max or Modo and so on. I couldn't get maya tangent space from handplane to work in Maya 2015's viewport 2.0. But object space work beautifully though.

    Unity and Blender most likely use mikktspace, so it worked nice in both rendering engines. Only issues were some settings in Maya's FBX export rollout, but fiddling with them you'll get the right one eventually, as I did. In my case "smoothing groups" setting caused some shading errors in the Unity tangent space normal map afterwards, but ticking that off before exporting made my problems nonexistent.

    The model itself was smooth all over. No smoothing groups/hard edges/sharp edges. Gonna make more tests with models including some sharp edges and see what happens.
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