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Baking by mesh name, but not for Ambient Occlusion?

Elarionus
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Elarionus polycounter lvl 3
I'm still learning about exploding meshes and color IDs, but I think there's a way to avoid the exploding part now at least....

So I remember seeing this feature in Substance Painter, and I know I saw it in Marmoset's documentation. I was curious though, how can I set up my mesh to do that, and then utilize that feature in Marmoset? I understand the naming conventions, of having "barrel_low" and "barrel_high", but for exporting out of 3DS Max, how does that look? My best guess from the research I've done so far is that I select all of the meshes of _low, and then add a UV map to those combined meshes, pack the maps, and then "export selected" from Max, so that it's one FBX file, with one UV set, but with multiple meshes...and same for the _high, minus the UV section?

And once I figure out how to bake certain parts by mesh name, is there a way I can bake every other map by mesh name, but then bake the Ambient Occlusion across the entire mesh? Thanks so much!

Replies

  • EarthQuake
    To use name matching, simply name your high and low poly meshes appropriately, and then load the meshes via the Quick Loader in the Baker object properties (the Load button inside the Quick Loader tab).

    As for exporting out of Max, there shouldn't be anything special you need to do. Just make sure you're only exporting the meshes you need. If you have meshes in these scene you don't intend to export, export selected is probably the best way to do it.

    To get AO to bake from group to group, go to the AO Settings (gear icon next to AO output), and turn on Ignore Groups.

    If you want to exclude certain bake groups from the group to group AO, go to the Low object for each group and enable Exclude When Ignoring Groups. This is useful if you have animated elements, such as a bolt on a rifle, that you don't want to cast or receive AO to / from other groups.

    All of this (and more) should be covered in our baking tutorial here: https://marmoset.co/posts/toolbag-baking-tutorial/


  • Elarionus
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    Elarionus polycounter lvl 3
    To use name matching, simply name your high and low poly meshes appropriately, and then load the meshes via the Quick Loader in the Baker object properties (the Load button inside the Quick Loader tab).

    As for exporting out of Max, there shouldn't be anything special you need to do. Just make sure you're only exporting the meshes you need. If you have meshes in these scene you don't intend to export, export selected is probably the best way to do it.

    To get AO to bake from group to group, go to the AO Settings (gear icon next to AO output), and turn on Ignore Groups.

    If you want to exclude certain bake groups from the group to group AO, go to the Low object for each group and enable Exclude When Ignoring Groups. This is useful if you have animated elements, such as a bolt on a rifle, that you don't want to cast or receive AO to / from other groups.

    All of this (and more) should be covered in our baking tutorial here: https://marmoset.co/posts/toolbag-baking-tutorial/


    I'm mainly confused about what export settings I should use from Max to go into Marmoset. I have a sword right now that has four parts: a blade, a handle, a crossguard, and a pommel. They all have low and high renditions, and I'm trying to get one to bake without the others, as in, I want to have each piece separate without actually having separate UV maps. Just one big UV map. However, as of now, I don't know how to do this without attaching the objects to each other. Once I do that, the naming conventions no longer matter. It's just a full high and a full low, and it won't bake the individual parts.
  • EarthQuake
    Elarionus said:
    To use name matching, simply name your high and low poly meshes appropriately, and then load the meshes via the Quick Loader in the Baker object properties (the Load button inside the Quick Loader tab).

    As for exporting out of Max, there shouldn't be anything special you need to do. Just make sure you're only exporting the meshes you need. If you have meshes in these scene you don't intend to export, export selected is probably the best way to do it.

    To get AO to bake from group to group, go to the AO Settings (gear icon next to AO output), and turn on Ignore Groups.

    If you want to exclude certain bake groups from the group to group AO, go to the Low object for each group and enable Exclude When Ignoring Groups. This is useful if you have animated elements, such as a bolt on a rifle, that you don't want to cast or receive AO to / from other groups.

    All of this (and more) should be covered in our baking tutorial here: https://marmoset.co/posts/toolbag-baking-tutorial/


    I'm mainly confused about what export settings I should use from Max to go into Marmoset. I have a sword right now that has four parts: a blade, a handle, a crossguard, and a pommel. They all have low and high renditions, and I'm trying to get one to bake without the others, as in, I want to have each piece separate without actually having separate UV maps. Just one big UV map. However, as of now, I don't know how to do this without attaching the objects to each other. Once I do that, the naming conventions no longer matter. It's just a full high and a full low, and it won't bake the individual parts.
    I'm not sure what part you're getting stuck on here. If you use naming conventions for each element, it will create a bake group for each. You don't need to combine them, like you say that will make mean they will all be in a single group. The naming conventions are outlined in the tutorial that was linked in my last post.
  • Elarionus
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    Elarionus polycounter lvl 3
    Elarionus said:
    To use name matching, simply name your high and low poly meshes appropriately, and then load the meshes via the Quick Loader in the Baker object properties (the Load button inside the Quick Loader tab).

    As for exporting out of Max, there shouldn't be anything special you need to do. Just make sure you're only exporting the meshes you need. If you have meshes in these scene you don't intend to export, export selected is probably the best way to do it.

    To get AO to bake from group to group, go to the AO Settings (gear icon next to AO output), and turn on Ignore Groups.

    If you want to exclude certain bake groups from the group to group AO, go to the Low object for each group and enable Exclude When Ignoring Groups. This is useful if you have animated elements, such as a bolt on a rifle, that you don't want to cast or receive AO to / from other groups.

    All of this (and more) should be covered in our baking tutorial here: https://marmoset.co/posts/toolbag-baking-tutorial/


    I'm mainly confused about what export settings I should use from Max to go into Marmoset. I have a sword right now that has four parts: a blade, a handle, a crossguard, and a pommel. They all have low and high renditions, and I'm trying to get one to bake without the others, as in, I want to have each piece separate without actually having separate UV maps. Just one big UV map. However, as of now, I don't know how to do this without attaching the objects to each other. Once I do that, the naming conventions no longer matter. It's just a full high and a full low, and it won't bake the individual parts.
    I'm not sure what part you're getting stuck on here. If you use naming conventions for each element, it will create a bake group for each. You don't need to combine them, like you say that will make mean they will all be in a single group. The naming conventions are outlined in the tutorial that was linked in my last post.
    I have read through the tutorials, and I have watched the videos. I understand the naming conventions, I just don't know how to get them out of max like that. Like I said, I have a sword right now with a handle, crossguard, pommel, and blade. Yes, I can name them properly. The thing I don't understand, is how I can export them as a single FBX with a single UV Map without combining them in Max.
  • EarthQuake
    Select the objects and try export selected, or export the entire scene? Either way the objects should export and load up correctly in Toolbag. What about this process specifically are you having a problem with? 
  • Elarionus
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    Elarionus polycounter lvl 3
    Select the objects and try export selected, or export the entire scene? Either way the objects should export and load up correctly in Toolbag. What about this process specifically are you having a problem with? 
    I'm having troubles getting all of the objects to use a single UV map (while retaining separate highs and lows). I could "attach" or "collapse" the objects in Max, and then pack UVs, but then the names of individual elements are gone. Or I could export each element as a separate object, but then I have separate UV maps for each.

    I think I get what you're saying though...if I combine everything together, pack the UV map, and then detach the elements I want to bake separately, giving them names according to their high and low variants, and matching their pivots, I should be able to bake to one UV map if I export them all together.
  • EarthQuake
    As long as each mesh has only one UV channel when exported, you should be good. I'm not sure that it is necessary to combine and then detach the meshes, but I am not really a Max guy. If you're still stuck with this, you could try creating a thread in Tech Talk to get better responses to general Max questions: https://polycount.com/categories/technical-talk
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 16
    i'm dealing with a complex object with about a 100 objects.  I need 2 versions of the AO, one for each group, and one for them combined with a floor .  Is there a way to have two AOs in my maps with each option?  Also, is there a way to have sub-sub groups?  Like I have bits I want to AO together that are still separate groups.
    As in:


    Baker
    --GroupMasterA
    ---MasterA1
    ----High
    ----Low
    ---MasterA2
    ----High
    ----Low
    ---MasterA3
    ----High
    ----Low
    ---MasterA3
    ----High
    ----Low

    --GroupMasterB
    ---MasterB1
    ----High
    ----Low
    ---MasterB2
    ----High
    ----Low
    ---MasterB3
    ----High
    ----Low
    ---MasterB4
    ----High
    ----Low


    I can't combine MasterA/Bx because I still need individual cages and the ability to have those subobjects bake their other maps alone vs in a group.  Is this where variation comes into play?  I admit I didn't understand how it was different from just naming the objects differently.
  • EarthQuake
    @oXYnary

    " Is there a way to have two AOs in my maps with each option?" - Not currently, if you need two copies of the AO with different settings, you'll need to change the settings and bake to a different file.

    "Also, is there a way to have sub-sub groups?" - No.

    " Is this where variation comes into play?" - Variations allow you to have multiple meshes within a High or Low object. Cage settings are per Low, so if you have 1 or 10 meshes (variations) in a Low object, the cage settings will control all of them. A practical example would be if you have 30 instanced bolt meshes and don't want to combine them for whatever reason, you can cram them all into one bake group via naming with the variation flag.

    As to some of your other questions, I'm pretty confused about your use case here, so if you can provide some sort of illustration that shows what you're trying to do I may be able to offer more advice.

    Generally speaking, if you find that you need 100 different objects or bake groups, you're probably overthinking and making it more complex than it needs to be. Usually combining objects, and welding/making water tight meshes for everything that doesn't need to animated or swapped out will greatly simplify things and make it easier to get clean bakes. Not to mention give you better UV usage as well, as you don't have dozens of intersecting meshes creating wasted/unseen surfaces. An issue I see often is artists duplicating the high objects literally with the lows (one low mesh for each high mesh), instead of treating the low like a shell that shrink-wraps the high. If you think about the low as a shell, you can often simplify very complex assets down to 5-10 bake groups.

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