Not the kind of baking that I am actually good at – the other kind.
We’ve been introduced to baking in Maya, the process of baking high poly textures onto a low poly model. The purpose of this is to create low poly texturing effects in videogames while saving a lot of usable memory space and processing power. If a CPU & GPU had to constantly calculate and render hundreds of textures on hundreds of models in real time, they’d slow to a crawl and we’d never be able to play videogames of any kind – unless you owned a super computer. And I’m talking NASA style here.
Matt has produced a Powerpoint Tutorial of the very process we needed to follow in today’s lesson which I’ve been able to download (future Daniel take note, you have copies).
Since this would be our very first time at something like this, and since we’re told its a complicated process with a fairly high problem rate at the outcome end, we were told to keep it simple. So we made a box object. For my attempt, I made a treasure chest.
To begin with I created a very low poly box which I then duplicated and on the second box, I added detail to it. I extruded edges and added brass work and used the Boolean tool to cut into the model to give the impression of the wood – Mesh>Boolean>Difference
I also stupidly didn’t save a screen of the treasure chest I used for guidance and now I can’t find it in the six billion search results on Google.
So above is the low poly and high poly together along with some odd extruded shapes that were used to cut into the box to represent the wood. Next I followed the tutorial the Matt had provided and Viola! It worked!
Top is a GIF showing both models cycling through wireframe, pre-baked and post baked.
I’m actually pretty impressed with how this has turned out, particuarly with it being my first attempt at something like this. I can see instantly how the technique can be used within games to get a high result by using a smaller mesh render – and particularly how it was done, or currently adapted from, the early 3D videogame days where systems like the N64 were heavily limited on memory unlike today’s consoles and PC’s. At least I’m assuming a process like this was used, and that today’s techniques are an advancement of that.
I’ve uploaded both models onto SketchFab and their links are below, but I’m hoping that the plug-in works this time and they’re displaying instead of showing a link.
Low Poly Baked
What I haven’t realised properly until just now is that the main brass bar across the middle of the chest has been baked on wonky. The lines are there but its not straight. That’s something I’ll have to ask about next time I’m in and look into for the future.