[Bf-funboard] Texture baker

trip bf-funboard@blender.org
Wed, 21 Jul 2004 20:25:31 -0400

I had a long talk with theeth about this and I still failed to show him 
why I am serious about this. So maybe someone else.

A texture baker is a simple behind the scenes tool that just does it's 
thing. The thing it does is show a preview of a texture shader on a 
mesh. The preview does not take in radio or raytracing it just shows a 
fast image in the 3d view. The current shader preview in the material 
view window is just this, but it shows nothing of what will truly be on 
a mesh at all until you try a pre render.

Now a pre-render is the best way to truly see this image effect on the 
mesh, it is a boring waiting game. A typical pre-render without any 
fancy lighting and OSA turned off at a basic size image that is easy to 
see will take about a second or two per render depending on the size of 
the mesh. To quote theeth "boohoo". Yes boohoo, but it is time and it 
is time off of work towards the prefect texture. And this does not even 
take into account an animation test. To add to this if you have to 
constantly tweak the settings and continue pre-renders it will add up 
time very very fast.

So the answer to this is how can we get the texture onto the mesh as an 
image. In the 3d view with potato texture mode a mesh that is uv mapped 
is viewable in realtime to rotate and transform the mesh however you 
like and the speed is unbelievable in how fast it renders a mesh as it 
is just realtime with a texture image applied to it.

I know of the ways to UV unwrap a mesh and render a texture then 
reapply it to the mesh as a Uv texture. But this is a slow process and 
is in contradiction to tweaking, each and every tweak will take time to 
render and save and open.

Also there is the method of applying vertex colors, but this will take 
a lot of mesh to show up the image at a reasonable detail to get 
anything from it. While a uv map can be applied onto a low poly cube 
and still have a great amount of detail to see.

So lets cut to the chase. Texture baking is needed badly. It will 
increase shader preview speed. I have asked the python scripters a lot 
for this but it seems no one can figure it out yet, though I would 
think it could be a better item in python script. Though C is faster.

It would also be great for the GameEngine. Anyone hate the idea of 
making Blender faster?