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Bake the enhanced skin from the Plugin

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:14 pm
by jcpalmer
While the enhanced skin of the plugin is impressive, it is pretty obfuscated how it is really implemented. I wanted to take it to a down stream environment. I have no problem just baking it to file(s), then just trash everything. Take the file(s) and substitute them for those from a sync / transfer not using the enhanced skin option, then follow my regular workflow.

I tried baking an enhanced material, in the diffuse channel. The pores show up when switching to Cycles, so I assume that is not the problem. I also re-built the plugin distribution to get last weeks PR in this area. I get almost the same file as was input, no pores. Do I have to do bake normals too? I could probably reverse engineer this, but thought a topic could have me some time, and also be a future reference for others who could not read the source.

For those who are un-aware of the enhanced skin, this is what it looks like + the shader:


Re: Bake the enhanced skin from the Plugin

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:22 am
by joepal
The pores come from a noise + colorramp + bumpmap -> normal node setup:


So there's really no diffuse component of the pores: they're all normal. Thus, if you only bake diffuse, you'll not see any pores.

So you will have to bake a pretty high-res normal map in order for the pores to not get lost.

Alternatively, I guess you could modify the skin node group so that it hooks the pore colorramp to a mixrgb node in order to turn the pores into a color variation instead. This in order to bake the entire skin with only diffuse.

Re: Bake the enhanced skin from the Plugin

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:39 pm
by jcpalmer
Thanks, I did have the thought after what you said that I could just bake the normals one time, then add it to any character skin and it would go out just fine. Who would ever noticed that 2 characters had pores in the exact same place?

I plugged in values for the node set up you showed, and it looked just as if I had "imported" that way. I baked the normals. When I added the texture to a character in Blender, things went south. As you moved the view around, it looked like the mesh was filled with sand.

Will see if painting the pores solution is viable soon & report back.