Author Topic: New user with a few questions  (Read 536 times)

I just purchased B2M the other day in hopes that I can create some textures or materials from photos that I will eventually take myself. I have been playing around though with images found from the web and I have a few questions.

1. If the image is 1024x1024 and I change B2M to 4096x4096 the perceived quality isn't really that much different. I suppose that is because my input image is of much smaller resolution. To counter that, can I increase the tiling amount by 4 to upscale the source image to 4096x4096? Since we can force random tiling I don't see the issue, however the quality would not be the same as a 4k source image correct?

2. I understand we want to remove as much shadowing as possible from the image so the renderer we choose to use(UE4, Unity, etc.) can use its own lighting to create that data itself, so with that being said are there any reasons to even work with the AO settings? To me I would just choose not to export that and let the game engine handle that itself. When would I want to keep the prebaked AO or tweak the settings? I think I'm getting lost on why we remove that, and then add it back in.

3. The height maps seem a little tricky to work with. For example when working with an image of small pebbles or dirt, when I try to tweak the height map it just turns out looking like a million small pin pricks across the surface, especially if the texture is mostly dirt cavities with grass patches(like someone shoveled out a section here and there) I cant seem to get the height balanced properly. To that note should I not expect to have each pebble showing individually on the height map, should it be toned down quite a bit to only give shallow depth to the pebbles? Larger rocks are easier since they take up more space on the height map they can be tweaked a little bit better.

So with that being said is there anything I can improve on workflow wise to help me generate higher quality images? I am more than ok importing the images into substance designer for further work, I just need to get an idea of some of the tools that might be helpful there that B2M doesn't provide.

The training materials are extremely thin when it comes to B2M. While the program is pretty straight forward I would love some more in depth tutorials taking a source image all the way into a game engine to show the final result.

Thanks!
Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 03:40:25 pm

Hi,

For the training videos, did you see already see these?

https://youtu.be/UKQTMHVOMKk
https://youtu.be/9W5gHlGq6J0

Here are the answers to your questions.

1. You can get the same quality level if you are tiling a smaller image. This can be helpful to save on resource in game as you can use a smaller texture and then tile it to get more detail.

2. The AO removal settings are used to help create the albedo color. With PBR you don't want to bake AO in the color as the albedo represents only diffuse reflected color. The AO map is then used as an input to the shader to drive the occlusion. Some renders such as UE4 can also add AO as a post process, however using a map can help you get more subtle detail.

3. The height map should be toned down. You don't want high frequency data in the height as the height should mostly take care of the overall shape and form. Typically you will blur the height and this is what the balance setting does. For the pebbles, the details will come from the normal map. So the detail is normal and the broad shape is the height.

B2M is good for creating some base textures which you can further build upon. I think to get the best results, you should use your own photos so that you can control the lighting. It helps to start with a good image that doesn't need a lot of correction.

Cheers,
Wes
Integrations Product Manager / Training
wes.mcdermott@allegorithmic.com
Twitter: The3DNinja

Hi,

For the training videos, did you see already see these?

https://youtu.be/UKQTMHVOMKk
https://youtu.be/9W5gHlGq6J0

Here are the answers to your questions.

1. You can get the same quality level if you are tiling a smaller image. This can be helpful to save on resource in game as you can use a smaller texture and then tile it to get more detail.

2. The AO removal settings are used to help create the albedo color. With PBR you don't want to bake AO in the color as the albedo represents only diffuse reflected color. The AO map is then used as an input to the shader to drive the occlusion. Some renders such as UE4 can also add AO as a post process, however using a map can help you get more subtle detail.

3. The height map should be toned down. You don't want high frequency data in the height as the height should mostly take care of the overall shape and form. Typically you will blur the height and this is what the balance setting does. For the pebbles, the details will come from the normal map. So the detail is normal and the broad shape is the height.

B2M is good for creating some base textures which you can further build upon. I think to get the best results, you should use your own photos so that you can control the lighting. It helps to start with a good image that doesn't need a lot of correction.

Cheers,
Wes

Hi Wes, thanks for the reply. Later today if I have some time I will post a few of the pictures I am trying to work with. I did take them myself with a nice camera and tripod on an overcast day, and most turned out well, I think I just need some pointers here and there.

One that has me particularly stumped is the tree bark. Even with no sun, the cavities within the bark texture are completely black so I don't think I can even use the image since my efforts to delight those areas have failed.

EDIT: On a side note, when importing bitmaps to SD, after you finish the material and export it the size is relatively high. Does that mean when loading it into UE4 that it will impact VRAM usage by 15mb(or whatever the file size is)? I didn't bother to optimize, but I know a purely procedural graph is much smaller space wise.
Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 09:17:01 pm

Hi,

For the training videos, did you see already see these?

https://youtu.be/UKQTMHVOMKk
https://youtu.be/9W5gHlGq6J0

Here are the answers to your questions.

1. You can get the same quality level if you are tiling a smaller image. This can be helpful to save on resource in game as you can use a smaller texture and then tile it to get more detail.

2. The AO removal settings are used to help create the albedo color. With PBR you don't want to bake AO in the color as the albedo represents only diffuse reflected color. The AO map is then used as an input to the shader to drive the occlusion. Some renders such as UE4 can also add AO as a post process, however using a map can help you get more subtle detail.

3. The height map should be toned down. You don't want high frequency data in the height as the height should mostly take care of the overall shape and form. Typically you will blur the height and this is what the balance setting does. For the pebbles, the details will come from the normal map. So the detail is normal and the broad shape is the height.

B2M is good for creating some base textures which you can further build upon. I think to get the best results, you should use your own photos so that you can control the lighting. It helps to start with a good image that doesn't need a lot of correction.

Cheers,
Wes

Hi Wes, thanks for the reply. Later today if I have some time I will post a few of the pictures I am trying to work with. I did take them myself with a nice camera and tripod on an overcast day, and most turned out well, I think I just need some pointers here and there.

One that has me particularly stumped is the tree bark. Even with no sun, the cavities within the bark texture are completely black so I don't think I can even use the image since my efforts to delight those areas have failed.

EDIT: On a side note, when importing bitmaps to SD, after you finish the material and export it the size is relatively high. Does that mean when loading it into UE4 that it will impact VRAM usage by 15mb(or whatever the file size is)? I didn't bother to optimize, but I know a purely procedural graph is much smaller space wise.

Hi,

The size is indeed impacted by embedding the bitmaps. You can select the bitmaps in the resources of the package (Explorer window), then go to the properties and set the compress to jpeg. This will drastically reduce the file size. As for vram in UE4, the size of the substance will not directly impact vram. When you generate the substance outputs, those textures are then held in vram. If you use a smaller size texture for the output then it will be less impact. With that in mind, I would set the resolution for the embedded bitmaps in your substance to be the max size you think you would need. So if it was 1024, I wouldn't have the embedded bitmap be 2048.

Cheers,
wes
Integrations Product Manager / Training
wes.mcdermott@allegorithmic.com
Twitter: The3DNinja