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Is there a way to bake a normal map with "overlaying layers" of objects on a plane?

polycounter lvl 3
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StasMikhailov polycounter lvl 3

Hey everyone. So I mean is there any way to do this kind of normal map in my example in just one go, one bake, one click? Maybe some magical "translucency" shader tricks? Or some plugins/scripts for max, blender or maya that will automatize the process?


  • gnoop
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    gnoop polycounter
    Project UV  from the plane to those small objects .     Bake object /world space normal map.   Apply  it on  the plane only  and  re-bake it to tangent space .    Not a single click although .

    Also you could just double the plane, select the original, shift it a bit   and use the rest as hi poly object   plus another copy of original plane as a cage object above the small ones. 

    Or bake otho camera looking down to plane  with normal AOV  .  3d soft tends to do it in -1 to 1 range .   For tangent space like looking map you could  do *0,5 then +0,5 on pixels ( you need to save as exr)   to make it into  0-1 range  in Blender compositing pane or Photoshop  and  perhaps swap some channels if your normal AOV is not in camera space.    It's usually  green and blue for renderers with Y up.

    Decade ago I had a special material in Max where 0-1 gradients in XYZ being  set in camera space mixed together into Standard material self illumination  slot  and I did a quick ortho render with   a light source off . Now I think  3d max can do just camera space AOV  for that.

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