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#1 Old 5th Mar 2011 at 8:52 PM Last edited by morphead : 6th Mar 2011 at 8:06 AM.
Default Tutorial - How to Bake(Multiplier) Objects Using Blender 3D
What will this tutorial teach me?
  • How to create a visually stunning multiplier using Blender 3D

What will this tutorial NOT teach me?
  • How to mesh
  • How to UV Map

What programs will I be using during the course of this tutorial?
  • Blender 3D 2.49
  • Graphics Editing Program
  • UVMapper
  • Secondary Meshing Program (Optional)

What programs will You be using during the course of this tutorial?
  • Blender 3D 2.49
  • Fireworks CS5
  • UVMapper
  • MilkShape 3D

Will you include a mesh to work along with?
  • Yes, I will include a raw mesh.

How difficult will this tutorial be, on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is N00b and 5 is Google employee?
  • Approximately a three (3) as this is very simple, but it requires you know how to mesh, and UV map

I have Blender 2.5x. Can I still use this tutorial?
  • Yes. While Blender 2.5x received some major changes, The layout is still similar. You should be able to follow along fairly easily. Look for "2.5x Note:" for extra information you need to know.

Is there anything else I should know before I start?
  • Yes, read carefully

OK, I think I’m ready! Go for it

Once upon a time long ago, I downloaded Blender with the promise of transcending my creations looks with a beautiful baked multiplier. What happened was days of heavy frustration and naughty words. Some time later, I became wise and did some tedious research . After which I finally created my first baked texture. I’m not going to lie to you though, it was bad. I learned I had to take extra steps, I really should’ve already been doing.

First off, mesh an object you wish to add a dynamic multiplier too. For the tutorial I will be using a TV, PA99S-LWPF to be exact.

In your preferred mesh editor, it is essential you group your object correctly. When Blender is figuring out how to bake your multipliers it casts shadows then copies them to the corresponding spots. Improperly mapped meshes will go awry in this process. When deciding how to group sections, first start with extruding parts. Also keep in mind the way you intend to map them. Here’s how I did the TV.
  • The stand base (Purple; flat) is a group. I can easily box map that.
  • The stand supports (Cyan; brace) is a group. Since it’s just a bunch of boxes I can box map that as well.
  • The part actually holding the TV (Yellow; brace) is a group. Fortunately, is close enough to a box in shape I can box map it also.
  • The TV (red; tv) is a group. Once again it too can be box mapped.
  • The jut on the back (Blue; back) is a group. While we didn’t really need to make this a separate group, it is better to get in the habit of grouping. It utilizes a box map as well.
  • Lastly, The screen (Green; screen) is a group. When creating a TV or computer, the screen is always a separate group. It uses an ‘X’ planar map.
Note: I map using 512 square for normal objects. 256 for small or non-recoloarble. And 1024 for complex objects.

After you have grouped everything, map it. Take care when mapping as skewing can occur easily. I recommend looking at the mesh while mapping to make sure they match up proportionally. Another thing to be careful of is making sure UVMapper’s window is square. It should look slightly rectangle higher than it is wide. Here’s what mine looks like.

I took the liberty of coloring the lines so you can see what is where. As you see this map is fairly spaced out, but there are maps that use every pixel of space. Consider a car for example.
You see two red areas, as one is the rim and the other is the back. A tv or computer screen requires the entire space to work properly.

Make sure to save the UVMapper’s texture as it make come in handy, especially if you have glass.

Next, import your mesh back into your preferred editor. Group everything except the screen, or glass if you have it.

Delete the screen, and glass if you have it. Don’t worry, they’ll be back.

Save your mesh as an .obj under a new name, like “Blendin”.

If you haven’t already, open Blender. It’s OK if yours doesn’t look like mine. If this is your first time to Blender a square will be in your workspace. Either Right Click > Delete button or File > New ( Ctrl X). Import your mesh. If you’re new to Blender take moment to explorer its controls as they can be daunting at first. Use the track wheel to zoom and Shift + middle click to pan around to see your object.

After you’ve become comfortable moving forward, Right Click your mesh. The outline should turn bright white. In the middle toolbar select Edit Mode.

At this point you need to see the UV/Image Editor Window. Assuming this is your first time Using Blender, the bottom half of your window is buttons. In it’s toolbar Change your view to UV/Image Editor. Yours should now look similar to mine.

2.5x Note: Blender 2.5x users will by default have a pane on the right, leave it as-is for now.

In the same toolbar click Image > New (Alt N). Use the same size as you used when saving the UV Mapper’s texture. Mine is 512x512.

Your UV Map should turn black.

In the topmost toolbar select Render > Bake Render Meshes > Ambient Occlusion.

2.5x Note: Before you Bake, you must set it up properly first. In the right pane, Look for a row of buttons about 1/4 down the screen.
Click on the third button in; World button, looks like a blue ball.
Check the Ambient Occlusion box. Raise the factor from 1.00 to 1.75.
Next check the Environmental Lighting box. Lower the value to 0.775.
Optionally, in the Gather tab, you can raise the Samples to 12-18.
Now, in the row of buttons click on the first; Render, looks like a camera.
In the last tab at the bottom labeled Bake, change Bake Mode to Ambient Occlusion.
Click the bake button.

Depending on your computer it will take anywhere from a moment to awhile to finish. Don’t be alarmed if your computer whirs up or flashes or both! It just means it’s working. You should be able to see it progress as it fills in the areas on the map. When it’s complete, we need to see how it looks. So now on the middle toolbar select Object Mode. And Change the Draw Type to Textured Mode.

Look similar? Hopefully, because you’ve just successfully baked an object. Congratulations!

My object has weird black streaks or spots on it. What’s wrong!
  • You most likely mapped it incorrectly. Go back and make sure areas don’t overlap. If your object has an inside and outside, like a bookcase, make sure to group and map the inside and outside separately.

My object looks pretty good, but some edges have black lines. I made sure not to overlap, what’s wrong?
  • Depending on how close your edges between certain faces are and the amount of margin overflow is (Default bake setting 2px) Blender may make a mistake. Keep reading to see what you can do.

My object looks pretty good, but it doesn’t look as smooth as EA’s multipliers. What’s wrong?
  • By default Blender set's the setting low. While this makes for faster processing times, the images becomes a little grainy. To fix this, switch from UV/Image Editor View back to Buttons Window View. Press (F5) or click the third button in that looks like a gray ball. A new set of icons should appear. Click on the last one that looks like a blue ball, World Buttons Tab. In the third cluster you will see a tab called Ambient Occlusion. Click on the tab, then click on the button and settings will pop up. When using Raytrace, raise the Samples, max being 32. I recommend anywhere between 12-18. While the results will be smoother, processing time will increase. Depending on your computer it will take anywhere from awhile to some time to finish.

    Alternatively, Keep reading to see what you can do with a quickly processed image.

    2.5x Note: Look at the previous 2.5x Note on how to do this.[/b]

This is cool and all, but why did I delete the screen and my glass parts?
  • If you left the screen you multiplier would be all black or gray or spontaneously splotchy. Since screens do not register multipliers it doesn’t matter what’s under them. As far as I know, Blender can’t determine the difference from solid and glass. And how should it? As such, when baking it will act like a solid and ruin your multiplier.

Now that it’s baked and it’s not a train wreck, save the image somewhere.

Unless you experienced a problem, we are done with Blender; there is no need to save the mesh.
If you are content with the image, you can use it as is.

Back in your preferred mesh editor, you can load your original mesh back up and finish preparing it for your preferred creation tool, don’t forget the screen or glass if you have it.

In your preferred graphics editor, load up your swanky multiplier.

We are fortunate in this model, it doesn’t need extra touch-ups. For those you have black edges, or small spots, look at Blender and determine where you need to fill in. Make sure to match the surrounding color. Gray, #808080, is neutral.

If you have glass in your mesh, import your texture from UVMapper and place a Gray box where it is, so it shows properly.

I decided all this model needed in touch-ups was a blur and air vents on the back. I blur to help give the impression of smooth fade compared to the grainy look.

Note: If you raised the Sample Count you do not need to blur.

Flatten and make a specular version, and import into your preferred creation tool. Finish the package.

Look similar? Hopefully, because you’ve just successfully baked an object. Congratulations!

I followed your tutorial to the word, but it just didn’t come out right. Can you help?
  • Do it again. If you fail a second time, then post a question and I will see what I can do to help you.

Wow, I did it! This TV looks great. But do you have an official version for comparison?
  • Yes, PA99S-LWPF is part of the WP Living Set available Here.

Special thanks to cmomoney for telling me about the grain slider.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: rar morphead-[BlenderBake]-tut.rar (2.30 MB, 44 downloads) - View custom content

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