Baking maps

Ok, so, the question is, can Rhino do this. Blender apparently can, and while there are “some” online options, which attempt to automatically generate such things from an image, they… don’t always work well. I currently have a project where I need to, in effect, add false geometry “i.e. bump maps”, and shadowing effects, to an otherwise flat surface, so I am using as little resources as possible (importing to Second Life, so… any “extra” geometry to make the thing look good east up resource requirements, and makes the resulting object useless for someone with low resource allowances. Think of it like… being told you are only allowed to pack 10 pounds in a bag, but you have 20 pounds worth of stuff that have to have on the trip, and no extra bag…). The current methods seem to be… problematic (and I hate blender’s interface with a passion, especially since I haven’t spent weeks learning how to get to all its features. lol)

Basically. The options seem to be:

  1. Create the map in Photoshop (yeah, right… no skill in that, especially making “fake” maps).
  2. Use blender to “bake normals” to a texture.
  3. Find something else to do the same thing.
  4. Try to work out how to do a flattish, “height map” like render, then use the existing online tool to make my map (which would also produce shadow maps, etc. for me). Which again… I have no clue how to manage. Not much of an expert at “rendering” things, just building them.

None of these make me happy, and requires time, and experimentation I would much prefer to avoid having to repeat the next time I need to do the same thing.

So, the question is, is there a script, or a plugin, or some existing feature, that can do this with Rhino? The way it works in blender, apparently, is that you create your uvmap, for a “high res” version of your object, then “bake normals to texture”, giving you a bump/displacement map, which you can then just slap on to your “low res” version, to get the result. Easy peasy - if I had the slightest bloody clue how to convince blender to do this. But… I would also prefer not to have to use 14 different tools, to solve one problem (hence the idea of finding a way to do the same with Rhino. lol)

I believe you can do this with the Air rendering plugin (within the BakeAir package).

I used AIR for baking some years before, only lighting and texture baking. I’m not sure AIR allow to bake a high res geometry for low res model use. Maybe baking AO could be a way. But don’t forget the UV needs to be well unfolded, no overlapping and not so much scale difference of the UV islands. And you need to convert your model from high res to low poly.

Maybe Modo couldbe your tool for this job. A lot of tools in one package, good UI and medium price. So far I know Modo support the high res to low res baking.

Attached a model from the www baked with Rhino|AIR.

Greeblebox2.pdf (2.2 MB)

3DCoat allows you to bake Hi res normal map to low poly. However at this point you are stuck if you want to bake all of the lightmap and texture to a single diffuse map.
At that point you are back to using Blender to bake everything down to a diffuse map.
So you need 3Dcoat and Blender, which is what I do :frowning:

3DS Max will do everything you want but that’s a bit overkill just for baking.

One trick that might work is painting bump and specular to a high res texture on a low poly model and then baking that.


Hmm. So… Expensive, or no, solutions. lol Oh well, will figure it out.

Well, Blender is free and it does a good job of baking.
If you add your bump and spec in whatever 3D paint program you are using then send all that out as .obj to Blender, you’ll find it works very well. A couple of online tutorials will get your head around the rather peculiar Blender interface in no time.
If you do a lot of this there is also a Blender plugin called Baketool which I really like and is only about $20

Here’s a detail of an 8K texture that I baked in Blender. The model is a simple low poly smooth shape and all of the detail is added as bump spec and normals.

1 Like

Hi, I see that Simlab v6 now does baking of rendered textures into viewport:
Michael VS

Hi micha your pdf is really nice. i found also the tutolial of bakeair and rhino 4. It seems, that this does not work for rhino 5 any more. I am wondering how you made the 3d pdf? did you use simlab exporter?

Yes, I used the simlab exporter for final PDF creation.