Author Topic: Height map baker  (Read 23382 times)

Any particular reason why the Substance Painter baker can not bake height maps?

It's a design decision. Since there are few or none use cases in Substance Painter, we didn't added this functionality. However if you have a good use-case, please share it as we are always interested to know.
Don't forget your log file. It can be exported from the Help menu of the software.
Fabrice Piquet aka Froyok. Product Manager, Technical Artist and Documentation at Adobe.

That surprises me, but ok. I think I have a use case which an industry wide issue. Screws tend to be small and accumulate dust very easily, especially if they don't stick out. I attached a real picture of an allen screw and a regular flat screw to illustrate this. You can see with the flat screw that dust accumulation is mainly height based.

There are generally 3 ways to add dust to the screw cutout:

-Use the AO map.
-Use the curvature map.
-Use a pre-made screw brush.

Unfortunately, none of them are a good option. Using the AO map is a hack it is not designed for. If the screw is near other geometry AO can be present anywhere, resulting in areas with dust applied where there should be none. Curvature sounds good, but it sometimes generates thin lines only at the edges (depending on the geometry), leaving the middle without dust. Using a pre-made brush is not an option in my case because I work with CAD data and all the screws are already build in the high res model. Re-painting it all can certainly be done, but it is unnecessary work if it can be automated.

-Using a height map in combination with a curvature map can make the look of dust in indented geometry much more realistic because it can simulate how real dust accumulation works. It starts at locations of high curvature and then extends further at places where less airflow and touch is present, which are areas of lower height.

I suppose a physics based particle brush can create a similar effect if it simulates the way real dust accumulates (curvature, airflow, obstructed), but as far as I know, no such brush exists, and I think it still needs a height map to function correctly.
Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 12:40:17 pm

I see, thanks for the feedback.
We plan to add new bakers to the current list, I will see if we can ad the heightmap too.
Don't forget your log file. It can be exported from the Help menu of the software.
Fabrice Piquet aka Froyok. Product Manager, Technical Artist and Documentation at Adobe.

To further add, having a heightmap baker would be advantageous as it can then be saved out into a final game texture via Painter's exporter. For example,  I would like to have the heightmap (the highres source composited with any Painter augmentation) exported out in the normal map's alpha channel.  However, currently I would have to export out the Painter only height, composite that with a standalone height map (baked in something like xNormal), and then save that into the alpha channel.  The process would be much more streamlined by having Height as one of the "Additional Maps". 

Is there a plan in the roadmap for this feature to be added?

Please add this baker, seems like such a basic thing compared to thickness... People needs height maps in the engines and it would be so convenient not to rely on Xnormals just for one bake.
Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 04:32:12 pm

Any chance height/displacement got added to the roadmap yet?


Monthly bump :)

Especially since SP supports displacement maps, a height map baker makes even more sense.

I would very much like the option to bake a height map too.

There might not be any strict use for it inside painter but I would like a workflow where I can use Painter to bake all the maps I need for our project in one package and with an identical bake setup.

As it is now I bake all maps in Painter except the heightmaps which are baked in xNormal. This heightmap then needs to be composited into the alpha of my normalmap in another program.

Apart from being unable to get the exact same bake setups in different programs it is also just not optimal to have to go to another program to composite my final maps.

Please prioritize this :)

Bumping this.

I've not a particular need for a heightmap inside Painter however I often do need one to use in Unreal Engine for shaders and heightlerps, either in an external texture or packed with other maps and so I do need to use Designer just to bake a height map and recomposite the maps which is time consuming and very annoying.

Please add the heightmap baker to Substance Painter.
And.. great job with Painter 2018.1, love it! ;)

I wish I could back hight/displacement map from high poly mesh and then export it with other maps to Maya.

I've just hit the lack of  height map baker. I have a fairly complex mesh that isn't baking some moulding details nicely (despite using a cage and texture sets for major elements). So I wanted to bake some of these moulding details really quickly onto a height map in Painter - using a new Painter project just for creating this heightmap) - so I could then stamp them in manually using this height map image in the height channel. While I understand you wouldn't normally want the heightmap exported it still seems a curious omission given we might want it for custom shaders etc. So I'm going to have to bake the map in Max instead..

Also while Im here, please, please make it possible to widen the columns in the Export document window!  :o

I would also like to request a height map baker.
I think for nowadays game development it is a must have.
I would like to use the parallax option of the shaders which is relying on the height map. But it does not seem to bew possible in Painter right now.
So I would have to go to an external application to bake the height map to ultimately use a feature that is coming with Painter like Parallax.