[Bf-cycles] Bevel shader

Brecht Van Lommel brechtvanlommel at pandora.be
Thu Aug 17 01:54:47 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
> surfaces) actually.
> http://pasteall.org/pic/show.php?id=118028

> 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
>    objects.
> 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.
> http://pasteall.org/pic/show.php?id=118029
> 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....
> http://pasteall.org/pic/show.php?id=118030
> 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
> be automatic.
> 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
> artists.
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