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Displacement map baking and UV editor


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Hi all

I would like to suggest a tool or plug-in to bake displacement map from high resolutions models 

This is a common features in other packages 

Formz as front end modeleler should have this kind of features to make low resolution  models with  details in displacements at render level (included full interactive mode inside formz...) 


In the same area we should have a solution to produce a pattern map (for full edition in an external editor) associated with UV map projection 

I suppose formz will never be a 3d painting program but some basic tool to work on model specific map should be a real plus 

Best regards 


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Use CAD if you need to create drawings and a polygon modeller if you want to create rendered or real-time outputs.

It is possible to move between the two but it involves a lot of tools and lots of time.

My workflow is export a STEP file from FormZ, import it into Modo using Integrityware's PowerTranslators. From here I can retopologize ugly meshes, do my UV layouts, bake my meshmaps for Substance Painter and render. Retopology, UV layour, baking, texturing and rendering (or exporting for game engines/webGL) is as hard or harder than creating the initial CAD model in FormZ. 

It is frustrating that I usually need to complement my CAD drawings with real-time and rendered outputs. Given the choice, I would much rather stick with one or the other.

The example above is the tip of an expensive iceberg for me


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The "render texture" tool can do something similar to what you ask. It's not working in FZ 9.1 but it works in FZ 8.6.5.

As a test I created a shape, reshaped it a bit and applied different colours to the faces. Use the Edit Textures tool and select the mapping type to UV.

Then I used the Render Textures tool set to tiff with combined textures selected. It creates a combined image texture. Open the new texture in photoshop and make the edits over the face colours and save it with the same name. Then FormZ automatically updates the UV texture on screen. If you create a Maxwell material from the texture map to include displacement, the reliefs will show at render time I assume.

I think it's only practical for simple objects as highly facetted objects could create a crazy complicated combined image map.

Better than nothing at all I suppose.




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There are cheaper ways to do this, Blender for example.... but Modo with PowerTranslators is the most robust in my experience.

Moi3D and 3DCoat is another good combination. Moi3D generates a very good mesh from nurbs geometry and has a robust STEP importer.

I don't think FormZ can bake from a high poly model to a low poly version. There is no raycasting shader or material that I know of.

It would be nice to have Autodessys chip in here as they must have some thoughts about this in relation to Twinmotion and the Unreal Datasmith plugin.


Edited by bbuxton
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