Create ID and Normal Maps in seconds
Add additional details to low poly meshes by baking high poly meshes to existing normal maps.
Example workflow (Use Material Viewport Shading to see the maps without rendering):
- Model the low poly mesh and unwrap it.
- Press W -> Set Canvas, this will ask you to input texture dimensions. If you don't need ID maps you can uncheck them and increase performance. You don't need to do anything else, material is set up for you and maps will be saved automatically each time you save the file in a folder next to the file called "maps_filename". To stop you from selecting the low poly object during baking selection will be locked for it.
- Position a high poly bolt on the surface of the low poly mesh and press E. This bakes it to the low poly.
- To speed up aligning objects to the surface: turn on snapping (Settings: Face, Center, Align Rotation)
- Bake more objects
- When your finished press W -> Release the Canvas
Transfer normals by UVs
- After unwrapping, duplicate the low poly object and select MeshBrush tab.
- Go to edit mode and model some details on the duplicate. You mustn't stretch the UVs to much, so check Correct UVs if the operation supports it. Do this for adding loops or sliding edges and vertices!
- Go to object mode and select "Bake Object Space Normal Map" from the MeshBrush tab. Now you can see changes applied to the other object.
- To get Tangent Space normal map: select the original object and press "Convert to Tangent Space" in MeshBrush panel. Note: All of the features work with the Object Space map too so you can convert to Tangent Space at the end.
Blenders operators by default stretch the UV maps so I added the warning and an button to fix the default settings, this will last until you close the file and doesn't change settings for all the operators, this is a limitation of the Blender API.
Quick Smooth edges
Use the transfer normal workflow and apply the subdivision modifier to the duplicate object. Add loops to control the smoothness of the edges and bake object space map when you're finished.
Add-on uses Blender's internal rendering engine(BI) and its implementation of baking.