Tutorial: Perfect Baking For Video Games

Tutorial: Perfect Baking For Video Games

Christian Cunningham has shared a useful guide to dealing with normal maps.

Christian Cunningham has shared a useful guide to dealing with normal maps. Having a hard time fixing incorrect bakes? Follow these crucial guidelines to bake all your details down into a normal map. 

First of all, there is no perfect way to bake a model, but there are some simple rules that can get you close to perfection. The written tutorial features 7 tricks to help you figure out the process.

Here are the guidelines:

  • Only have hard edges on 90 degree edges and higher, everything else must be soft
  • Wherever you have hard edges, you must have UV splits as well
  • Provide ample padding on your UVs so there is no bleeding
  • Before exporting your cage (if you are using floaters) make sure that the normals of the faces are flat
  • Even if there is a bevel, where you want a hard edge to appear, smooth it on your low poly. Let your high poly create that crisp edge
  • You have to do all of this and continue to worry about correct YV layout and hiding your seams. 
  • Export using .obj

Poly Punch

You can get a free copy of the guide with more comments here

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Comments 5

  • grog

    250Mb - 1 page :/



    ·a year ago·
  • chris Cunningham

    Thanks for the tips guys, I will keep the file size down in the future. I wrote this for beginners or people that don't know how to set up a mesh for baking, I assumed that everyone could load it into a baking software, I wanted to keep in generic and focus on mesh prep.


    chris Cunningham

    ·a year ago·
  • Warzh

    This isn't a very strong tutorial. It gives you about six decent tips, and then when it comes to actually talking about the main point of the tutorial (Baking), all they say is "Load your models into an application
    such as Substance Painter and hit bake." They don't discuss bake settings, they don't discuss optimization (like don't bake 8K maps for a fire hydrant). They just give you Pre-Bake tips. And granted, they are useful, but overall, this tutorial doesn't deliver what the title aims to. Also has a few spelling errors, but it doesn't take away from the learning.



    ·a year ago·
  • Garabatto

    Well, nice to have these guidelines but to be honest, they aren't that helpful.
    What is about cylindrical bakes? Wavy normals maps? Average normals or not?

    The experienced user knows all of that, but I think this guidelines is for the one who doesn't.
    Anyway - thanks for the pdf. The flat faces for cages were new to me.

    PS: The file size is ridiculous. One image, text and some vecotrs doesn't cause this filesize. Whatever you did - it was geniously wrong :D



    ·a year ago·
  • anon

    240mo for a one page PDF... bruh.



    ·a year ago·

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