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Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Brisbane, Australia
Insane since: Apr 2001

posted posted 11-21-2002 01:04

I think texture baking is one of the well know terms for what I'm trying to do but let me explain a little more.

Say I had a model that I've made for use in a PC game. I can export the model as an .ASE file and that will retain the UV coords for my textures but I want more than that. I want to "pre bake" the lights & shadows from my MAX scene onto the textures so I don't have to depend on the model being lit from the in game lights, cause they suck and the in game ray traced lightmaps don't work too well on imported models.

I'm thinking there should be two ways I can do this. First I skin the model using the usual UV mapping tricks. This bit works fine but is there any way (maybe using a plugin) that I could render the un-wrapped texture out to a raster file with the effect of the lights from within the 3D scene?

Did that make sence?

Anyways, another way I could do it would be to render a lightmap for the object that I could then use as a texture to "skin" the model in the game engine as I can set up special blender on the textures. This method would be a perferable one as it would produce smaller texture sizes and I could use tiling texturs on the model itself and just "skin" the lightmap onto it so to speak. The only problem is, I have no idea how I could render a lightmap in such a way.

I know this can be done in R5 but I dun have R5, I got R3. I know, R3 is an ageing peice of crud but it's all I can afford. Alternatively, I also have maya PLE which can export to the game engine but simple UV mapping in Maya does my head in.

Any Ideas?

Oh, the game engine is Unreal2/UT2003, just incase your wondering.

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 11-21-2002 02:37

I feel your pain, Drac.

With your first option, there are some rather nasty things. For example, your light sources. When you flatten the mesh with a texture applied, the lighting is going to be funky. You can get around this with some very creative flattening, but I don't want to try it. If all you want to bake in is lighting, you are probably better off doing it in PS.

I'm not sure what you are talking about with your second option. Even though I don't understand what you are saying, I wouldn't want to try it.

I did some looking for a 3rd party option, but nothing cheap or free. The only thing I could really find is finalRender (.com).

Good luck.

Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Houston(ish) Texas
Insane since: Jul 2000

posted posted 11-21-2002 20:42

There is a technique that might work, depending on your object. It relies on planar mapping, though, which imposes some limits.

Very simple, really. Move a free camera into position, render the object in place, and use the rendering as a planar texture map aimed from the same direction as the camera was aimed. You get all the shadowing, lighting, whatever.

If you apply a UVWmap modifier with the planar option, Max will save the UV coords for the planar mapping out to the object. You can rotate the UVWmap gizmo to be aimed from whatever direction works best (making sure that the camera you're using to generate the texture is aimed from the same direction).

I don't remember if the UVUnwrap modifier is available in Max3 (I'm using 4.26), but that can give you more versatility. You can apply multiple planar texture maps to different parts of the object. With that, and a lot of time and effort, you could apply several different renderings from different angles to different parts of the object. You end up with a single map with different parts being mapped to different sections of the model. This is like the maps you often see for character models in games, with one area being the face, one area being the torso, etc.

[This message has been edited by Das (edited 11-21-2002).]

Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Brisbane, Australia
Insane since: Apr 2001

posted posted 11-23-2002 22:44

Damn, so there's no easy way to do this then.

Hmm... Thanks for the suggestions though, I'll give them a try.

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Kansas City, MO USA
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 11-27-2002 20:32

Can Max 5 do baking?

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