Author Topic: Is there a way to bake using the normal map, not just geometry?  (Read 14388 times)

I'm trying to bake an AO map based on the normal map so that I can use it as part of the paint, but Substance Painter only take geometry into account in its baker. I know the typical use of baking is to bake information from a high-poly model down into a low-poly model's texture, but I'm kind of doing it backwards by adding detail on a low-poly model using substances with height like tiles and bricks. The final exported normal map has this information in it just fine, but the baker uses only geometry.
Is there a way to do this or am I barking up the wrong tree?

Hey brendan_1,

You could use the Ambient Occlusion node in Substance Designer to achieve what you want. It converts height map data into an Ambient Occlusion.


Best regards
Environment Artist - Twitter

Thanks very much, Fabian. I had a feeling Substance Designer might be able to do this, will give it a try!

In the next build, the AO baker will use the normal map to bake if no high poly mesh is supplied.

In the next build, the AO baker will use the normal map to bake if no high poly mesh is supplied.
Fantastic :D. The tools keep getting better!

In the next build, the AO baker will use the normal map to bake if no high poly mesh is supplied.

Any news on this? SP still doesn't appear to use the normal map for baking the AO.

I'm following the sci fi crate tutorial and it makes it sound like it is using the normal map for baking, but after doing exactly what is done in the video my AO map takes about 5 minutes to render and ends up looking terrible. Did something change?

In the next build, the AO baker will use the normal map to bake if no high poly mesh is supplied.

Any news on this? SP still doesn't appear to use the normal map for baking the AO.

I am also interested in this feature - seems pretty basic to me, was very disappointed normal map is not being taken into account in case HP mesh is absent for baking.

Best!

This has been available for a long time now. The normal map is already used if a high poly mesh is not available.

I can't find a way to make it work actually..

I've tried a simple test, painted some details on the normal map and the height map on a cube. Those details would normally make some parts darker in the AO, but the baked AO appears completely blank.
I didn't set any high poly model. I even tried to overide the normal in the TextureSet Settings window with some hard surface normal, and bake again, but nothing.

I'm using the default bake settings.

The bakers will only take into account the normal map plugged in the Additional map slot, not the painted normal. YOu need to export your painted normal, import it back in your project and plug it to the normal bake slot to affect the AO.

Hi,

I have come across the same problem. I have my normal map plugged into the Additional Maps slot in SP but how can I extract an AO map from it? Can I bake the other maps only using the normal map as well? 

Paulux

It is no longer a problem 8) It works as you said. I had to do something wrong the last time when I tried to do it. Sorry for bothering you.
Paulux

Just find out, that you must rebake world space normal map to be able bake AO and Cavity according to the normal map.
So you export your normal map with all details you did, import as a texture and place to normal map slot. After that bake world space normal(check that your normal map details baked on world space normal map), and now you can bake your cavity and ao(check that there is noithing in high definition meshes and "Use Low Poly Mesh as High Poly Mesh" is set to off)