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Latest Documentation on Creating Displacement Maps


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#1 JPWestmas

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 06:36 AM

Hi Guys, could somebody please point me to the "official" documentation for how to create a Displacement Map in 3DC 3.7? I followed a lot of different techniques I found online but there is something I'm missing because my maps don't have any detail projected into them. I did this once before with a mesh I retopoed in 3DC 3.5. But now I'm can't get it to work in 3.7.

xnormal works with some models but not so well with others so I'm hoping I can get it to work with 3DC.

#2 JPWestmas

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 05:56 PM

Seriously, I would use the manual but I can't find jack in it.

#3 digman

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 08:35 PM

Can you describe your workflow in more detail as there are a number of ways of first getting your model into the paintroom for displacement maps.
Merging from the retopo room
Importing for microvertex
Painting details on a model imported for per-pixel painting
A reference big mesh (high polygon mesh up to 16 million) projected on a low polygon mesh ( must have same uv maps) . That is under the File menu / import. Your low polygon mesh must be in the paintroom already merged using microvertex method.
Finally there also is importing for Ptex.

Your problem as stated lies in the projection of the displacement map on the uv map. Again there are a few ways of doing this.

More details given and maybe a screen cap would help to solve your problem.

#4 JPWestmas

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 04:34 PM

Okay, thanks. Here is my process:

I'm importing a big mesh in from zbrush through the merge 'voxel' tool. When I bring it in it's around 11 million polys/voxels or whatever it is. That's the resolution that it says when I click on the Autoscale button in the merge tool panel.

So the mesh comes in and the voxel sculpt looks pretty darn good, tends to capture the zbrush scupt just fine. I switch to the topo room and there I import my cage mesh, which is the mesh that I imported into Zbrush before I sculpted. That mesh has UVs on it that I applied in modo before import.

So I bake the texture using the Retopo> Bake Texture tool in the retopo room. Attached are my settings but I'm pretty sure I exhausted every combination so what I'm doing wrong is probably a single step that I can't remember. I've done this once before with great success but that was with a model I retopoed inside of 3DC and didn't need to import it. So something about the cage mesh is not agreeing with 3DCs results.

I can't think of anything else to say about this, but I think I remember I needed to do a hull merge something but that didn't have any effect either.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Pouch_DIS.jpg
  • Mesh_Import.jpg
  • Voxel_Import.jpg


#5 JPWestmas

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 04:38 PM

I actually didn't try the snapping of the poly mesh to the surface of the voxel mesh because that was taking forever to do. Would I need to do that I wonder?

Yeah the snapping option isn't working, just hangs there in the balance.

Actually I'm thinking I'm missing a simple step here. I know this cage mesh wouldn't provide the necessary silhouette to get good results but it isn't working at all, which concerns me.

#6 TimmyZDesign

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 08:08 AM

It looks to me like you are not putting the right file name in the "mesh to receive projected textures" field in the Texture Baking Tool window. You need to put the file name of your low poly mesh in there. Right now it says "BakeRetopoMesh.obj" and I don't think that is the one you want.
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#7 digman

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 06:46 PM

The texture baking tool was broken. Andrew just fixed it and reuploaded the newest beta but for windows only...
Your method is fine except you want to choose your model that has the uv file with the correct path.
Also you can import the Zbrush high polygon mesh without voxelizing. It is in the merging dialog box. In comes in as a polygon mesh in surface mode and you do not need to worry about resolution size to capture the details. This works great if you just want to bake from the retopo room or do some more detail sculpting with LC brushes. If you switch to voxel mode after you merge for without voxelizing you will then need to increase the resolution size to capture all the details just like normal voxel merging.
Surface mode baking takes a little longer than voxel mode baking.

Try again and see if it works, At one time the texture baking was not working properly in the retopo room but it was in the paint room. I hope that got fixed too.

Newest beta
http://3d-coat.com/f...topic=8887&st=0

Link for Andrew fixing texturing baking tool.
http://3d-coat.com/f...pic=8887&st=940

#8 JPWestmas

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 06:47 PM

Nope, I made sure the low poly mesh was in that slot and the map actually looks the same. This is way too convoluted, I mean the map shouldn't look totally flat like that.

#9 JPWestmas

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 06:49 PM

The texture baking tool was broken. Andrew just fixed it and reuploaded the newest beta but for windows only...
Your method is fine except you want to choose your model that has the uv file with the correct path.
Also you can import the Zbrush high polygon mesh without voxelizing. It is in the merging dialog box. In comes in as a polygon mesh in surface mode and you do not need to worry about resolution size to capture the details. This works great if you just want to bake from the retopo room or do some more detail sculpting with LC brushes. If you switch to voxel mode after you merge for without voxelizing you will then to increase the resolution size to capture all the details just like normal voxel merging.

Try again and see if it works, At one time the texture baking was not working properly in the retopo room but it was in the paint room. I hope that got fixed too.


DAHH! omg, why has it been like this for so long. Anyway, thanks, I'll try the latest. Yeah I know that I would have to retopo it, I just wanted to get it to work.

OH, so you say I don't have to voxelize it, that's excellent!!

#10 JPWestmas

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:04 PM

so what's the difference between 37-09B and 37-09A? They're both Cuda 64.

#11 JPWestmas

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:06 PM

Oh I see I want 3.7.10

#12 digman

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:39 PM

3.7.10A is what you need.
I forgot to mention in the baking process uncheck ( preserve positions of vertices while smoothing) Andrew in the tool tip said you get better results...

#13 JPWestmas

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:53 AM

Ok got the latest version running now.

question: Do the high poly mesh and the low poly mesh need to be in the same group or separate. When In different groups I get a blank displacement image, I mean nothing on it. When in similar groups, I run out of memory.

#14 JPWestmas

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 04:04 AM

K got it to bake but I'm just getting blank images. =( Very odd. Anyone else getting this to work?

#15 Zeddicus

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:05 AM

[[ Textures > Texture Baking Tool ]] works for me now in 3.7.10A, which didn't in the previous versions. My high poly mesh is hidden and low poly mesh visible using the [[ Windows > Popups > Sub-objects ]] popup (which I docked in the paint room) just in case that matters. I used the BakeScanDepthIn and BakeScanDepthOut numbers from the retopo room [[ Retopo > Baking_parameters ]] since that tool allows me to preview each. My low poly mesh (384 quads) and high poly mesh (1,572,864 quads) are both from ZBrush and both have the same UV set (not sure that matters for the reference mesh when using PP, but having UV's on the retopo mesh certainly does).

I'll try to list my steps as best I can. Hopefully something can be gleaned from it (I'm still learning displacement mapping, always used to get blank maps too):

1) In paint room: File > Import > Reference Mesh (chose high poly UV'd mesh)
2) In paint room: View > Relief Only (so I can see details)
3) In paint room: File > Import > Retopo Mesh (chose low UV'd poly mesh, said NO to snapping
4) In retopo room: Deleted RetopoGroup1 since my low poly loaded as defaultMat (via docked Groups popup)
5) In retopo room: Retopo >Baking_parameters (set/previewed my bake scan depth)
6) In retopo room: Retopo > Merge with NM (per-pixel) (see first image below for settings I used)
7) In paint room: Turned off visibility of high poly mesh to see my NM results (using Windows > Popups > Sub-objects)
8) In paint room: Left "Layer 1" selected. Other layers I see are Layer 0, Color, and Normalmap.
9) In paint room: Textures > Texture Baking Tool (see second screenshot below, scan numbers were from retopo room)

All my maps were generated correctly when I clicked the Ok button. I don't know if any of this is helpful, but it's the first time I've succeeded at creating a displacement map. I've never had any troubles with the other ones for what it's worth.

pp nm settigns.jpg

disp settings.jpg
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#16 digman

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:53 PM

K got it to bake but I'm just getting blank images. =( Very odd. Anyone else getting this to work?


Yep, same problems still with us

Import a high polygon mesh without voxelizing in the voxel room or the normal way.

import the uv mapped low-polygon version into the retopo room. I hardly every snap to the voxel/surface mesh as it does not work well on a complex object.
Really in most cases there is no need to snap to the voxel/surface mode model. The low-polygon fits close enough.

Use the Texture Baking tool with the correct parameters from the retopo room for a displacement map.

Yes, all you get is a blank map....

@Zeddicus
The above method is one of the standard ways to get a displacement map without going through the paint room. It has been bonkers for quite sometime and the fix that Andrew did yesterday did not fix it...

#17 JPWestmas

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:07 PM

wow, that's too bad, thanks for confirming. 3.5 works ok I think, I'll give that a go.

#18 Zeddicus

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:24 PM

@Zeddicus
The above method is one of the standard ways to get a displacement map without going through the paint room. It has been bonkers for quite sometime and the fix that Andrew did yesterday did not fix it...

Well it's the first time I've successfully created a displacement map that wasn't blank, so I don't know what else to say. What's the other method you speak of? I want to give it a try for myself.

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#19 digman

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:42 PM

Opps, sorry on my wording, It is the only way outside of the paintroom to get a displacement map. There is another way though but not by going through the retopo room. You are in the paint room but in a different way.

The below method will work if your high and low polygon models have the same uv map.

Import your uv mapped low polygon obj model into the paint room using the microvertex method.

Next under the file menu / import, choose (big mesh) The model can be up to 16 million polygons. You just need enough ram to support this operation and has stated have the same uv map.

3DCoat will read the details from the high polygon mesh and then projects them unto the low polygon mesh by means of a displacement map in the paint room on a layer. I create a layer for it before doing the operation. It does not load the high polygon mesh. This method is not used by many but works well as long as you have a well layout uv map.

Now the normal ways of saving a displacement map are available plus you can work more on your model if you so desire. Also normal maps and any color textures can be created... No need to use the texture baking tool with this method.

Yepper, at one time the texture baking tool worked in the retopo room in earlier versions. I think the problem reports got buried over time as Andrew is only one man and I see how that would happen...

I will make a video in about a week and post another bug report about it on mantis. Hopefully it will get fixed soon...

#20 Zeddicus

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:14 AM

I did a new experiment using a voxel sphere, sculpted some quick details on that and then autopo'd. Textures > Export > Displacement Map Current Layer generates a blank map, whereas the texture baking tool in the paint room still worked perfectly fine, creating a nice displacement map.

Edit: Alright re-read your post a few times and I think I get it now regarding BM + MV. Importing using the big mesh option doesn't actually load the high poly mesh. It just projects the physical shape onto the mid-poly carcass mesh and at the same time creates a normal map style effect on the low poly mesh. I can then export a real normal map (the tangent Layer0 one seemed to work best) as well as a displacement map, both from the textures menu in the paint room, and all without ever going to the retopo room or any other room. When I chose Textures > Export > Displacement Map of Visible Layers the result was a perfect map that was not blank at all. So what was it that's not working? I think I need to read this thread from the top again lol. ;)

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