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Norris No. 50G

polycounter lvl 6
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putka polycounter lvl 6
Rendered in Toolbag.

10074 tris, 4330 of which are taken by the two large bolts, since they felt important to the piece. :*

Textures done in Substance Painter and Photoshop.









References:


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  • putka
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    putka polycounter lvl 6
    Finished the high poly!


  • putka
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    putka polycounter lvl 6
    Most of my feedback won't be that useful, since I've seen others reporting the same problems I had, and some issues are already scheduled to be resolved on the roadmap post.

    I run an old i7-920 ~2.8GHz so not the fastest baking machine.

    My usual workflow was baking normal maps in Maya and just using that as a base for everything else. I got curvature from TS normals with nDo2 and AO from Knald.

    So for this guy I was excited to try and bake everything in Handplane Baker. At this point I should mention the first issue - faceted curvature maps which others have reported. Technically I could have subdivided the high poly to ridiculous amounts (near 100 million polys) but there would still be visible issues. For this reason, curvature was the only map for this asset not baked in Handplane Baker (used nDo2 with TS normals, but that's pretty much just an "edge map", there's no gradients or chunkier edges so I'm looking forward to the updated algorithm). So I hand painted various edge damage like a pleb and did a bad job! :p

    Issue #2: empty projection group causes nebulous error message
    Seems like an easy solution to simply ignore empty projection groups or at least make the error message clear. Luckily it only took about 10 seconds to find the cause.

    Issue #3: tremendous high poly mesh loading times making iteration very difficult
    I don't know how fast this was for other people, maybe it's my ancient CPU's fault. Every time I hit the bake button, I have to wait for the entire mesh loading cycle all over again. This takes 9 minutes at 23 million tris for me. It's a chore to play around with bake settings and trying out new cages when you have to sit around for this step every time.

    Would it be possible to load the high polys once per session so the successive bakes would get through this instantly? I'm not familiar with the technical limitations for this, for all I know it would take up all your memory or something.

     A decent workaround for this would be to be able to toggle off projection groups so I could focus on iterating on individual pieces and only have to load that part of the high poly every time. I kinda did that by first saving the project and then deleting all other projection groups. But then you have to load the other one again and update the values and.. :'(

    Issue #4: sparse documentation
    Luckily I saw your post about baking AO and how many samples it was reasonable to shoot for, before I spent all afternoon baking. :D It would be so great if information like this was available in tooltips, or at least on the official Baker manual page. How can non-Polycounters know about these numbers? And another artist was asking for floater documentation which is another thing I spent some time trying to understand but couldn't. I would love an awesomely detailed manual B).

    Issue #5: no option for explicit normals
    There might be ideological differences here but I'll still mention it. :# I had some skewing action going on on the text and the holes with bolts. So I had to add extra geometry and maintain multiple low polys for baking and for final rendering. That drained a lot of my brain power. I would prefer to just paint an explicit bake on top of an averaged bake in Photoshop. It would be faster and easier on the brain. In fact, could I just have Warpspeed Baker spit out both versions of TS normals at the same bake? :o A true paradigm shift! I amaze myself.

    Issue #6: invalid FBX cages
    Not much to say, I saw you were working on that.

    I enjoyed my experience with Handplane Baker and will be adding it to my pipeline. I used a bunch of mirrored UVs for this asset and was pleasantly surprised I didn't have to delete half of the mesh before baking to avoid errors. I also love projection groups and the baking speed (I compared the time for TS normals from Maya and it's not even close). Love the volume gradients. I used to have to do gradients in 3d-Coat which was a vastly inferior option. And, unlike Maya, it can bake 16-bit normal maps, yay. <3

    I also want to thank you and Earthquake, the gods of normal mapping, for all your exhaustive information on how to get perfect bakes.
  • Tamarin
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    Tamarin polycounter lvl 15
    Beautiful! This came out great!
  • AlecMoody
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    AlecMoody ngon master
    "Issue #3: tremendous high poly mesh loading times making iteration very difficult
    I don't know how fast this was for other people, maybe it's my ancient CPU's fault. Every time I hit the bake button, I have to wait for the entire mesh loading cycle all over again. This takes 9 minutes at 23 million tris for me. It's a chore to play around with bake settings and trying out new cages when you have to sit around for this step every time. "

    Can you find a way to send over your model files? 23 million triangles on that CPU should be quick.
  • putka
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    putka polycounter lvl 6
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