Sketchfab Forum

I'm new to baking, and wanted some pointers?


(Thedonquixotic) #1

I'm new to baking. Well I'm new to 3D in general. So far I've just been making stuff with Blender, Oculus Medium and Fusion 360.

If I wanted to do some subsurface scattering in Substance Painter or Marmoset Toolbag, would I bake it out to a diffuse texture map in order to display it on Sketchfab? Is that what people mean when they talk about baking textures etc?

(Mathea) #2


When people say baking they can refer to different types of baking but usually refer to normal map baking. Example; your creating a game asset, but using Zbrush to create the model. The model would have way too many polygons to be used in games. So, the artists creates a low poly version (often in 'normal' 3D software like Maya), creates a decent UV map and then 'bakes' the high-poly onto the low poly. This process creates a normal map that makes it seem as if the low poly model has all the high poly details, because the normals on the low poly are 'told' by the normal map to make the surface react to the light as the high poly would. You can also 'bake' ambient occlusion maps for example, in this case the software you're using to bake the map (like Xnormal of Substance Painter) will calculate where the light would reach less (corners and folds) and create a texture map with dark areas in the places the light doesn't reach as well to give these corners and folds extra definition and depth. There are several other types of maps you can bake each with their own purpose. So baking is when the computer has to do a seperate calculation to create a texture that creates a certain effect.

Realtime sub surface scattering is quite expensive and Sketchfab wouldn't allow you to do that out of the box. However, you can fake it, like for example you mentioned you can bake it onto a diffuse map, or a emission map. It's not really the same and it will not react to the light surrounding it in real time as well, but with some tweaking you can get decent results. This guy did something cool and got real time SSS, I admit I'm not too familiar with sub surfance scattering but maybe it helps you out, he explains what he did in the 'about' section;

I imagine that if you are new to 3D it probably sounds quite complicated. For easier results you can indeed try to create an emission map on the places where you want the light to penetrate the model, but make it quite subtle. Emission maps basicly create the effect of 'glow', what it does it excludes the white areas on your emission map to be affected by the lighting around it. Meaning that if you have a yellow-ish emissionmap your model will appear to glow in that color as it will not have any shadows on it (like a lamp). You can adjust the amount of glow in Sketchfab itself, or just tweak the values in the texture itself.

Hope I kind of made sense, it's kinda late here and I feel like I'm rambling. If you got any more questions don't hesitate to ask.

(Thedonquixotic) #3

Hey thanks. Yeah that is very helpful. I'm okay with stuff not being really dynamic. I'm really mostly using 3D as an expressive thing right now, though I'm also trying to keep general technical and pipeline restrictions in mind for real time since I eventually want to put some of my stuff in VR.

I'm trying out Marmoset right now and it seems that it can do some of the subsurface stuff I want. I'm also going to look at Substance painter in a bit. I want to be able to use some of these more advanced shaders and rendering technologies, but I'm hoping to use them in a non realist way.

(Thedonquixotic) #4

Also in Marmoset I can apply fresnel shaders but how can that be baked in on Sketchfab? I'm guessing it can't, since that's dynamic to viewpoint

(Mathea) #5

Look into the Sketchfab shader editor I'm pretty sure you can create the freshnel effect in sketchfab itself however like you said since it is dynamic you cannot bake it into your textures

(Stephomi) #6

I can't really help you on the baking side, but we are working on a subsurface shader at the moment.

(Thedonquixotic) #7

Hey so I managed to fake the subsurface shader stuff a bit with an emission map!

But as for the fresnel, I don't know what you mean about the sketchfab shader editor. Is there some additional feature that allows you to load custom shaders that I'm not aware of? Or do you just mean the normal PBR shader editor?

Also yay @stephomi that sounds awesome! Love ya'll's work it's awesome!

(Mathea) #8

Hi turns out I said something silly - not sure where I got this idea but thought I remembered there being some kind of material node editor. Sorry about that.

Cool looking stuff though! Keep it up man you're making some cool models :slight_smile: