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From BlenderWiki Baking, in general, is the act of pre-computing something in order to speed up some other process later down the line. Rendering from scratch takes a lot of time depending on the options you choose. Therefore, Blender allows you to "bake" some parts of the render ahead of time, for select objects. Then, when you press Render, the entire scene is rendered much faster, since the colors of those objects do not have to be recomputed. Mode: All Modes except Sculpt Panel: Scene (F10) Render Context → Bake panel Hotkey: CtrlAltB Menu: Render → Bake Render Meshes Description The Bake tab in the Render buttons panel. Render baking creates 2D bitmap images of a mesh object's rendered surface. Use Render Bake in intensive light/shadow solutions, such as AO or soft shadows from area lights. Use Full Render or Textures to create an image texture; baked procedural textures can be used as a starting point for further texture painting. Advantages Can significantly reduce render times Options

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Advanced renderbump and normal map baking in Blender 3D from high poly models Normal maps are essentially a clever way of 'faking', on low poly, low detailed models, the appearance of high resolution, highly detailed objects. Although the objects themselves are three dimensional (3D), the actual part that 'fakes' detail on the low resolution mesh is a two dimensional (2D) texture asset called a 'normal map'. What are normal maps and why use? ^ The process of producing these normal maps is usually referred to as 'baking' (or 'render to image'), whereby an application - in this instance Blender 3D - interprets the three dimensional geometrical structure of high poly objects as RGB ("Red", "Green" & "Blue") values that can then be 'written' as image data, using the UVW map of a low resolution 'game' model as a 'mask' of sorts, telling the bake process where that colour data needs to be drawn. Generally speaking, there are two ways to generate these types of baked normal maps using 3D;

Beautiful, Yet Friendly Part 1: Stop Hitting the Bottleneck Beautiful, Yet Friendly Part 1: Stop Hitting the BottleneckBeautiful, Yet Friendly Part 2: Maximizing Efficiency by Guillaume Provost A couple of years ago I was driving home to Quebec when I stopped near the Ontario border to gas up. I got out of my car to stretch and noticed two other travelers engaged in a complicated mish-mash of hand waving and broken English. Blender Basics optimising models for export and use in games Previously we learned how Blenders interfaces is divided into working 'zones', how to navigate and move around the interface and then how to make a model and apply UVW maps as we progressed through each section of the tutorial series to make a simple chair. For the next and final section, we'll be looking in to one of the most essential, but least discussed, 'skills' of making 3D content - how to optimise it for use in a game or interactive environment (3D chat, game, virtual world and so on). If you've jumped ahead to this final section of the Blender Basics tutorial then it's assumed you know how to use Blender and where all the buttons and shortcuts are. If you don't it's recommended that you read through the entire tutorial to get to grips with Blender before tackling this part of the process. The Golden rule of optimising ^

Normalmaps for the Technical Game Modeler Normalmaps for the Technical Game ModelerBy Ariel Chai, 15th of June 2010, all rights reserved.*Article is constant work in progress*This article is aimed towards technical modeling (such as weapons vehicles, pros, etc), and is made to give an overview of common normalmap issues, walkarounds and solutions. This article assumes knowledge of UV's, and the core idea of what normalmaps are. Sculptris Focus as an artist on pure creativity Enter Sculptris, a fun and engaging way to start off your digital sculpting journey! If you're new to the world of digital sculpting, Sculptris is the ideal ground on which to get started. If on the other hand you're experienced in CG, we offer you ZBrush. With our award-winning software, ZBrush, released more than a decade ago, Pixologic, makers of ZBrush and Sculptris, has become recognized for bringing ground-breaking innovations into the world of digital art. Sculptris Artist: Taron Baysal

NormalMap What is a Normal Map? A Normal Map is usually used to fake high-res geometry detail when it's mapped onto a low-res mesh. The pixels of the normal map each store a normal, a vector that describes the surface slope of the original high-res mesh at that point. The red, green, and blue channels of the normal map are used to control the direction of each pixel's normal. When to triangulate [Archive] Hi there!! Well after a while I found out that some artists and tech artists sometimes do things out of habit without really questioning things. Especially with stuff like triangulation - it's one of these details that can easily create shading errors, but most people seem to not notice because it's 'good enough'. I personally mostly build my ingame meshes based on a loop system for one simple reason : clean loops make selection very easy (select one, and grow/shrink from there) hence it makes both UV and skin weighting much easier and faster. However when it comes to baking, things can get tricky as some apps dont even triangulate the same way before (hidden edges oriented one way) and after the bake (shown edges oriented the opposite way) so to avoid all that I tend to triangulate before the bake and keep the asset that way from that point on.

Building Your RPG Characters In The Real World Hero Forge is like an RPG character creation tool. You choose a gender, choose a build, choose some armour and get yourself a reasonably unique character. Only at the end of this one, your character gets made in the real world instead of being trapped inside a video game. Designed with tabletop gaming in mind, Hero Forge is a Kickstarter campaign with two components. The first is the creation suite, where you design your characters online.