Baking in 3ds Max: A General Overview, Part 2

Header_Baking_20171128

Baking in Max can be a daunting process. Last time, in Part 1 we talked about what you need to get started, options for renderers, a few of the different kinds of bakes you can do, plus how and why to do test renders.

Part 2

This time, in Part 2, we go into the approach for Unwrapping, the details of Render to Texture, and the actual baking.

Part 1 | Part 2

Initial Bake

Baking_Seq_3_Baking

Unwrap Model
Bakes work by recording the lighting intensity for each point on a model's surface into a texture. This means that, under normal circumstances, you don't want any overlaps or tiling used in the UV channel that you bake to otherwise you may have some very strange results in your baked lighting. While unwrapping by hand produces the best results, automatic unwraps are usually more than enough. Bake UVs are usually unwrapped to channel 3.

There are a few common options for creating lightmap UVs for large numbers of objects. One is to use the automatic unwrap feature of Render to Texture, though this always groups matching material IDs together resulting in a lot of wasted UV space. Another option is to use a scripted tool written in-house called SteamRoller, which does a similar function but isolated from any other dialog and without requiring the material ID option. Paid plugins also exists that can do unwrapping, some of which also have their own special baking options.

UnwrapExample_20171205_short
Read more

Baking in 3ds Max: A General Overview, Part 1

Header_Baking_20171128

Baking in Max can be a daunting process. There are numerous choices, and it may be unclear what is going to give the ideal results. This guide gives a general overview of the process to take your work from an unbaked model to final baked scene.

Part 1

In this first section, we talk about what you need to get started, options for renderers, a few of the different kinds of bakes you can do, plus how and why to do test renders, and what mesh issues to look out for.

Part 1 | Part 2

Starting Out

Baking_Seq_1_Start

Ready to Go
Before you're ready to bake, you'll ideally have a scene that's realtime ready. This usually means a low-ish polycount (under 2 million), Scanline:Standard materials, and bitmap based textures instead of procedural ones. While it's possible to bake high polycount objects, such as unoptimized architecture scenes, they may take an exceptionally long time to unwrap, and may also have trouble running once exported.

You'll also want to have some familiarity with the OSG Exporter, but if not you can also start off by loading up the sample preset file from the Storing and Loading OSG Settings tutorial.

Baking_house Read more

How to… Work With Realtime Shadow-Casting Lights in Inspector

Vizard R5: Adding realtime light to a scene and enabling shadows.
Sample Files: Realtime Lighting.zip (7.5Mb)

Starting with an unlit scene in Inspector:
- First, Go to Create -> Light -> Directional Light
- Then, in the properties window check the box for "Shadows"
RealtimeLight_01

- Next, name the light node so it can be accessed through code
- You can set the angle of the sun node using the rotation controls
- The position of a directional light does not affect its output, but can be used to move the node's icon to a more convenient location.

Read more