Author Topic: Painter Bake Producing Black Normal Map  (Read 22935 times)

I'm using Painter and its match by name feature to bake my maps. I exported my low poly FBX from Blender, exporting the selected objects only. From ZBrush, I exported each subtool as an Obj, making sure to uncheck the "Grp" part under export setting as detailed in the wiki. I tried using the FBX export from ZBrush, but the export didn't line up with my low poly's origin and scale, so I used Obj export instead. The Obj lined up in Blender right where I wanted it, but I am not sure if maybe it is not lining up in Painter. The result of the normal map bake is a flat black map. i tried adjusting the distance values and I keep getting a black map.

Can you share your meshes ?
Also I need you Substance Painter version and build number (see the about window).
Don't forget your log file. It can be exported from the Help menu of the software.
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Froyok aka Fabrice Piquet, Technical Artist and Product Designer at Allegorithmic.

Substance Painter, version 1.5.0
Build 819 - 04323dc88caa57965286f6e25e6e53964a9cc8dc

How do I share the meshes? The high poly objs are about 50 MB a piece. It's not uploading when I try to add as attachment.

couple of things to check.

1. make sure that the UV on your low mesh is within the 0-1 UV space.  Ive seen this happen when all the UV of the low mesh are not within the 0-1 UV space.

2. make sure the objects line up in 3d space (low sits in the high)

Also, UV's on the high poly mesh do not matter when baking, just make sure your low mesh is properly set up

The UVs of the low poly are in the UV space. For the lining up, it does line up in Blender, but I don't know how to check if it's lining up in Painter. I assume it would import it in the same way. I tested this by importing both the low poly and a high poly piece into a separate Blender scene. The picture is a fresh scene with fresh import of both one of the objs and the low poly FBX. For the low poly, all of the pieces are separate meshes that are exported as a single FBX, which from what I understand is the correct way to do it to use the match by name. So I'm not sure.

If you are using FBX from ZBrush, make sure the scale matches up...

I don't know what the scale translation is. That's why I am using Objs. Are you even reading anything that I said?

Substance Painter, version 1.5.0
Build 819 - 04323dc88caa57965286f6e25e6e53964a9cc8dc

How do I share the meshes? The high poly objs are about 50 MB a piece. It's not uploading when I try to add as attachment.
Can you try to upload them elsewhere, like on dropbox ?
Don't forget your log file. It can be exported from the Help menu of the software.
-----------
Froyok aka Fabrice Piquet, Technical Artist and Product Designer at Allegorithmic.


ok I did a quick look at your models and here are my findings.

1. the high meshes do not line up with the low poly mesh.  The high poly mesh needs to be scaled up by 100.  This usually happens when you use something like Go Z to move meshes between your DCC app and Zbrush.  For some reason, Go Z has a different unit scale than the 3d app, something like Go Z is in centimeters and your dcc app is in meters.  So a simple scale of 100 should fix this issue.  Ive done these tweak in Maya.

2. the edge hard/soft on the low poly mesh is not set correctly.  When you do bakes from a high poly mesh to a low poly, you need to set the edge to soft/hard on the low mesh to get it to bake correctly.  If you have a hard edge on your mesh.  The UV shell mush be detached along that edge, if the edge is soft, you can have the UV shell welded on that edge.  Dont worry about what the normals on the low poly mesh look like after you do this, the normal map will fix it for you.


Ive attached a screen shot of a bake I did in painter after scaling up the high poly meshes.  There are some issues with this bake that can be solved with a cage mesh (like the bake errors on the wall), but this shows the bake working.

Any other questions please feel free to PM me or ask here on the forums.
Last Edit: October 23, 2015, 07:00:03 pm

I thought using Match by Name with distance parameters made it so that you don't need a cage? I did a scale of 100 for my obj and FBX export earlier but it didn't line up in my 3D package. In Blender I used imperial units when modeling the low poly. As far as the hard edges go, I thought I made them all soft. In Blender I set the shading to Smooth for all parts. I'm sorry, I'm pretty confused about this. When I watched the recently released Painter tutorials, it said that the distance parameters would create sort of a virtual cage so no manual cage was needed. And I don't understand why the Objs line up with my low poly FBX when I import them into Blender but not when I import them into Painter.

yes it will create a cage.  The problem with that is that the cages will start to grab data from the overlapping meshes and that is what is producing the black or dark issues you see in the example I posted.  Sometime you may need to bake these pieces individually and composite the normal map back together in photoshop.  This is probably the case here because you have so many overlapping meshes no cage will help that.  Use something like Xnormal will give you this control, OR, you can create a temporary high and low mesh where the pieces are separated, and since the UV are the same as your original wall mesh, everything will line up correctly when you load back in your wall mesh.  In general, using the baker to create a cage can cause issues because it makes a cage that is a uniform distance from your low.  Many times this doesn't work very well since the high poly mesh varies and is not uniform like the low poly.  Just increase the distance you say?  This doesnt always work either because if you increase the size too much the cage mesh can start overlapping its self depending on the mesh.

In general you can get away with the auto cage creation, but most of the time, and in your case, hand making a cage gives you more control and is easier to trouble shoot.

As for the hard/soft edge.  Yes all your edges were set to soft on your wall mesh,  But this is incorrect, like stated in the earlier post, you need to have hard/soft edges based on how you have the UV arranged.  Any hard edge must have the edge in the UV shell detached and separated, and soft edge can have the UV edge welded together.

The unit setup doesnt mater, it just needs to be the same for every mesh.  I work in metric, but in general you just needed to scale up your high poly mesh to meet the same size as your low.  Dont scale your low.


I have attached some images showing the exploded baking technique in painter.

Okay. I think I understand most of it. Thank you for being thorough and taking the time to explain.

no problem, any other questions please feel free to pm me or ask here.

2018, Substance 2017 and the same issue with Normal, ID, AO & Thickness maps !Black !

I check position & scales from fbxs in my case.

No chance.
I am going to check xtra the smoothing groups as sugested and Normals in 3Ds Max.
Then i´ll Post my results in an hour.
Same result.
Any clue anyone?
Isn´t it a SP bug ?
Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 07:35:34 am
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