Baking materials onto Texture. Grr!

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  05 May 2013
Baking materials onto Texture. Grr!

So after pulling my hair out over the past month trying dozens of different ways to solve the problems I have been hitting, its time to ask you Zbrush Guru's for some help on trying to bake a material into a texture map for a model destined to go into SecondLife (where material systems do not exist - yet)

I am using Zbrush 4R5. I have created a 3 subtool model of an art sculpture (man woman base). I got the model just the way I wanted it. I polypainted the models at LOD 6. And even while in Zbrush I got the exact look of the texture of the model that want to export to SL by applying the BRONZE material. The image below is what it looks like in Zbrush as I would love to see it end up in SL.

So to get ready to bake the materials onto the texture, I had to create the texture map. In my countless repeated processes, I created a UVMAP either by UVMaster or the Tool->UVMAP->Create PUVTiles method. I then created a texture map from PolyPaint.

In every attempt, this part of the process was good in that the created texture map fit onto the model seamlessly - even when I Collada exported it to SecondLife.

I then applied the Bronze material and went on to create the DISPLACEMENT MAP for the model.

Here is where I keep running into failure. I know of two methods to bake a material onto a texture. 1) by applying the texture, displacement map, and material onto an ImagePlane Polymesh, 2) by Crop&Fill the alpha with the active texture and material onto a document.

I have tried countless ways and via different changes of the process but the following is happening:

The resulting problems keep cropping up EVERY TIME.

ONE: the material layer wants to treate the UVMAP seams as part of what it needs to effect. This is cause very visible seams to appear on my model.

TWO: the resulting baked map shows the model's topology lines even at the LOD6 you can see a micro grid pattern on all the texture surface within the uvmap blocks. The example below is a zoomed in cropped part of the baked texture map...

Another anomaly that is happening is that the model itself now shows the lowest LOD topology on the texture when any material is applied to it - even white. It wasnt there in the beginning as you can see from the first image but now the model shows it all the time.

This could actually be the root of the entire problem - that a zbrush parameter setting is telling the material to recognized the topology and uvmap lines and somehow this can be turned off.

Regardless.... HELP ME !!!
Toysoldier Thor
Digital Artist & SecondLife Creator
  05 May 2013
this may be out dated but you can try this

see page5 for the newer version
  05 May 2013
Thank you so much for the link. Its a great plugin and makes my manual process of baking much easier.

I also figured out what is causing the sharp edged frame on the model. When I was dividing the model to LOD 6, I set the divide not to SMOOTH the model. This was maintaining the sharp edges that the materials system is accentuating.
Toysoldier Thor
Digital Artist & SecondLife Creator
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by Toysoldier: I also figured out what is causing the sharp edged frame on the model. When I was dividing the model to LOD 6, I set the divide not to SMOOTH the model. This was maintaining the sharp edges that the materials system is accentuating.

That's the drawback of not using Smooth. A work around is to use it for the initial subdivisions and to turn it off for your fine details in higher levels. Or, you can have Smooth OFF for initial subdivisions, whatever way works best for you.
I like to learn.
  06 June 2013
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