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Handplane Baker development roadmap

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AlecMoody ngon master
I wanted to post our development roadmap for users to comment on allow for a centralized place for suggestions and feedback.

1) Add support for user editable default settings. This will take the form of a default HPB file that the UI loads on startup.

2) Add support for baking texture data from high poly models

3) Improve precision or improve handling of very small scale models with a global scale factor

4) Create more automated methods for map output settings. Specifically AO sampling and curvature map settings

5) Some form of ao sample smoothing to reduce noise

Please post suggestions or feedback as you get used to the tool.


  • AlecMoody
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    AlecMoody ngon master
    Here are a few feedback items I am hearing repeated:

    *Fix issue where curvature and cavity maps are ignoring highpoly mesh normals
    *Name matching for automatic project groups
    *Method for loading and splitting up multiple meshes from one file

  • Kanni3d
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    Kanni3d ngon master
    From my experience, the baker is great and fast!  I feel the UI could use a bit more love, as myself and some users pointed out having their eyes run around the entire window to find a button/dialog. But to add the ability to being able to import a single low res and a single high res mesh to split them up and match by mesh name would be spectacular! It'd beat, if not be on par, with substance painters match by name.
  • Takai
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    Takai vertex
    Thickness map output preset would be nice, due to the baker's speed, it would probably be my goto for thickness. It already is for TSAO.

    Also, a fix that would work for me as far as the GUI is concerned is options for Font Sizes and Colors for window categories  I was dreaming for that on the mesh loading screen while I was trying floaters. What would also be cool is if you could color the whole projection group window with quick presets. Like for example the window background or outline for projection group 1 could be tinted blue and for projection group 2 could be tinted pink (kinda like the normal map color theme of the GUI).

  • AlecMoody
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    AlecMoody ngon master
    I'll put thickness maps on the list. I think I understand how they work- I haven't ever really used them in my own art.

    We have had a lot UI feedback and I want to do a UI overhaul but I think that needs to be a second phase after addressing some of the core functionality problems people are having.

    Also the structure of how handplane works is very simple. The gui is just a tool that generates baker project files, the baker itself is a seperate exe that just reads and bakes project files. The hpb files are plain text. One thing I would like to do with 2017 is document and clean up the hpb format details and then possibly open source the gui for people to modify.

    Also I want to thank everyone for all the feedback. Being able to watch a large number of users take different approaches to the same task is very useful.
  • AlecMoody
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    AlecMoody ngon master
    We had a company meeting last night to go over feedback from the contest.
    Here is a list of what people can expect in the next release, in order of priority:

    1) Curvature map changes- use smooth normals from highpoly and making settings automated. Curvature maps should be effortless and work well on low density high meshes.
    2) AO sampling changes and sample smoothing
    3) UI tweaks. Hiding projection groups, User editable default project, drag and drop object loading
    4) Precision improvements to deal with very small model files
    5) Thickness maps

    After that we are looking to move into adding more features. In no particular order:

    *Populating projection groups based on file name suffix.
    *Material assignments based on mat ID in the highpoly
    *Documenting the HPB format and supporting third party baker interfaces. Handplane baker is structurally very simple. The ui generates .hpb project files and the baker executes them. It would be possible to build a handplane interface into any existing 3d software.
    *Baking textures from high poly meshes onto low poly models.
    *Populating projection groups based on object names in a single mesh file. <- This one seems a bit tricky. If everything is in one massive file and that file is changed all of the mesh meshes will have to be repopulated.

    Please post in this thread if there is anything significant is missing from my list. When the contest finishes I will do a final pass of gathering and organizing all of the feedback. I will also write up a postmortem that people can respond to. I want to make sure the conclusions we draw from the feedback are inline with your experiences.

  • radiancef0rge
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    radiancef0rge Polycount Sponsor
    Hey man, I know at one point you were looking to at some scan features to handplane, did you ever get anywhere with that?
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