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Marmoset doesn't bake normals correctly any more.

polycounter lvl 6
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Kligan polycounter lvl 6
I have no idea why or what happened, but for some reason Marmoset Toolbag 4 doesn't bake normals properly any more for me.

I have a big thread about it here, where I was troubleshooting the problem for several days:

Basically, whenever I bake normals in marmoset now, they all come out broken.

8-bit normals are all dithered to the extreme. And if I disable dithering, then I get artefacts all over, like this:

16-bit normals look fine in marmoset itself, but they are all "streaky" and "dirty" when imported to Quixel Mixer or Unreal Engine 4. Or they are just displaying incorrectly.
I tested baking normals in xNormal, and all is perfectly fine there.
Here's a comparison:

I tried to re-install Marmoset, but it seems to keep config files somewhere with all the preferences and such, so when I opened it, everything was the same. I couldn't find on google how to completely remove marmoset and do a "clean" install.

Does anyone have any idea how to fix this or what could be the issue?


  • EarthQuake
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    Toolbag's baker has not changed how it handles banding/dithering in a few years, so it's unlikely this is a problem with the software itself.

    Typically this will be a result of your high and low poly mesh topology/normals. The rule of thumb is that the closer the high and low poly surfaces are to each other, the more subtle the resulting normal map will be. The more subtle the values in the normal map, the higher the need for a high-bit depth image. If the normal map requires greater precision than an 8-bit image can provide, there are only two options: banding, or dithering. Generally dithering is preferable, it adds subtle noise but will break up the blockiness that you otherwise would see when the image is banded.

    You can find a more detailed explanation here: https://polycount.com/discussion/148303/of-bit-depths-banding-and-normal-maps/p1
  • Kligan
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    Kligan polycounter lvl 6
    Yeah, an update on the issue.
    After I re-installed all of my software, it got fixed... I still have no idea what was the culprit. 
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