Normal Cast

Description :

-A Normal Cast Node plugin for baking normal from hi-res mesh,
to low-res mesh in "Object" or "Tangent" space.


Usage :

-Load the low and high resolution meshes in the Layout,
use different names for the two surfaces, works better
with triangulated polygons.

-This node is located in "DP Kit/Tools",
it must be added to the surface of the low-res mesh,
with a proper UV map selection.

-You need also to check "Unseen by Rays" in the "Object properties",
"Render" panel for the low-res mesh, output to "Diffuse Color"
or set the low-res surface to 100% luminous, 0% diffuse
for current Nodal Color output.

-"Projection Distance" is the distance between start ray and
spot world position along its smoothed normal, it should be modified in function of model-size (see also the camera settings).

-Use a Surface Baking Camera, select the low-res mesh, select
the same UV map, Adjust the "Offset from surface" to avoid artifacts
in the baked image map, set the "Direction" to "Smoothed Normal".
Check "Unseen by Camera" for the hi-res "Object properties"
for safe render.
-"Optimize UV Border" may improve the UV Border option of the Surface
Baking Camera, but this is unpredictable and mainly for the Object Tangent node
usage with the same option checked.

-Normal input is for baking the nodal normal input from the base
mesh directly into its baked map, without hi-res mesh (self baking no ray)
in selected space.


Notes :

-Normal map generated in Tangent/Texture space can be directly loaded
in the NormalMap Node in Lightwave 9.0+ and give better result for
animated/deformed final model, in this case you should check the "LW Node Compatibility" option.

-If the hi-res surfaced have some normal or bump inputs,
there are also rendered with the geometry for baking.

-"Surface Baking Camera" render has black background, so you may
get black dots/lines near seams (you have a lot with atlas UV map),
you can add an "UV Border" or prefer to expand edge of the map
in post-work.



Samples :

Zbrush Head Model from Ofer Alon (Pixologic).
Normal Cast UV map generated and rendered by Gregory Glezakos (T-Rex).






Object Tangent

Description :

-A Object Tangent Node plugin for transforming color/normal map,
from "Object" space to "Tangent" space.

-With "Object" space the node simply converts a color map to normal output
including object transformation (rotation).

-Works with normal map baked by NormapMapCreate in Modeler or
Normal Cast in Layout for UV mapped object, select the same UV map
than the Image node.

-"Optimize UV Border" may improve the UV Border if this option has been
checked in the Normal Cast node.