[Bf-cycles] Bevel shader
Brecht Van Lommel
brechtvanlommel at pandora.be
Thu Aug 17 01:46:08 CEST 2017
Forwarding a message from DcVertice on blenderartists, since it seems to be
stuck in the bf-cycles moderation queue:
After talk with bretch I want to show why artists need a round edges, and
why it's so important for all game artist community. Of course that bevel
modifier is a solution when you want only bake high poly, but have some
limitations and the pipeline of work change drastically with the round
edges and could reduce the work load of an artist in days (literally).
First I want to show the ways to bake a bevel (A basic work in hard
Like you see all methods have different solutions.
- The first solution is use the same mesh shape with normals splited.
It's unusable and nobody can use this, the results are no acceptable.
- The second solution is adapt the mesh shape to avoid the result of the
first solution. It's the best way to obtain high quality normal maps, but
the work to make complex shapes increment a lot.
- The third solution is use the same mesh but with average or custom
normals. It creates gradients and distorsion the mesh details (like pipes,
screws,...). The gradient is a big problem in games because with texture
compresion result in a lot of artifacts and must be avoid. I'm sure that if
you like games you will have seen artifacts in normal maps in hard surfaces
We could create a cage for projection, but in AAA models it means a lot of
work, problems, distorsion of details, conflicts in the box,... In
efficence is the worst solution, with difference and I don't consider talk
about it. making the distorsions a constant.
All the solutions also have a basic problem, errors in projection of near
geometry, cleaning time,.... At the end if we want make real production
quality game assets we only can consider the second solution. Anyway It's a
destructive pipeline (you must have a low poly mesh with different shape of
the high poly) and each change means that the artist need to make the
double of changes and test if it works. In video games it's not strange
that a game model have a lot of feedback, 3 or 4 times, or even more, with
a lot of changes. In a box, move the vertex is something easy, now think in
a production model....
To make the same in all sites to obtain high quality results this model
could need days of works to make a correct bake, and depeding of feedback
any change will need other day. A round shader solution would be a magical
solution for all the problems, or at least the 80% of baking. Making a
pipeline no-destructible friendly, and one artist could reduce the time to
bake this to hours. We talk to cut out days of work. And maybe reduce the
total time to create a model in a 30% in the best case, but maybe a 50-60%
or reduction for the future changes that feedback impose.
Other cases where a round edge shader will be a kill feature is the baking
of bevels for cylinders and similar topology that actually needs a custom
aproximation to the problem that needs a lot of parts and actually is the
worst case scenary that a artist can find. With this shader all this will
Also the round edge shader is not only good for baking for game artist,
it's also good to cycles rendering because bevel destroy the UVs and the
artist needs to collapse the model, make new uvs,... and with this tool the
artist doesn't need to redo the UVs, or use a destructible pipeline.
Like artist I can confirm strongly that this round edge shader for baking
and cycles is a top feature that will change all the pipeline of all 3d
artist that use blender. Reducing the production times in days, making the
feedback less painful and also making Blender more referent for game
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