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Bake Surface feature question

John Bigboote

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Hello esteemed Spliners!

I am working on getting 'game-ready' assets out of A:M- hoping to get them into Snapchat, and have made good use of Gerald's(Fuchur) 'A:M to Unity' video tutorial where models and actions are exported from A:M to Ultimate Unwrap via the .X file format... and as always I figure that Sketchfab is a great place to view, test and share your UU exported FBX file. However- I am finding that when I employ my 'Bake Surface' option in A:M- it looks good there but in Sketchfab I see overspill or some anomoly that I would like to lose or lessen.

Take a look here at my Sketchfab model with animations: https://skfb.ly/6JSDM    Latest rev: https://skfb.ly/6KtZW

You will see what I am talking about... lots of lines everywhere especially around the mustache area. Is there a setting or trick to get better UV mattes when I Bake Surface?

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She looks great! 😀

My first gambit would be to increase the "margin" when you Bake Surface. Hold the SHIFT key when you choose Bake Surface to get the option menu

"Margin" pads each tile with extra pixels so that neighboring tile are not immediately adjacent on the image map. Try 10. If that works you could experiment with smaller values to see how little margin you need.


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OK- that took some Rnd...! After speaking with Rob and implementing his sage advice... suddenly NOTHING worked- as far as getting my baked textures thru to Sketchfab. After about 20 iterations of 'what am I doing wrong'... eliminating EVERYTHING and trying over again and again... I finally figured-out that I seem to have been crossing Sketchfab's naming conventions which DO NOT allow for spaces or special characters... and A:M's Bake Surface feature uses an underscore for each plate (character_color...character_bump...) so I need to rename the files outside of A:M and then relink them back-up within A:M.

Here is my test now with 4 animations(look, walk, run, punch) https://skfb.ly/6JVUP

Here is a higher subdivision (4 quads from every hash patch in the .X exporter.) https://skfb.ly/6K66F

BUT- Rob's advice on using the 'margin' worked, things look a little better in Sketchfab now- Thanks Robert! (used a setting of 3)

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On 5/1/2019 at 6:38 PM, robcat2075 said:

Is that the case for everything? It also can not handle "morph targets," as they are known in the polygon world?

A detail I glossed-over... in the Sketchfab FAQ's and in Gerald's A:M to Unity Tutorial is that the number of bones should be kept minimal... 'bare bones' so-to-speak. Well, I threw caution to the wind and used an old TSM2 rigged model- and the Anzovin TSM system uses LOTS of bones but it seemed not to make any difference- it does not load too slow, and plays just fine. I do notice there is some 'feet-slipping' around on the floor which does not appear in A:M tho... I need to try putting the legs into FK mode see if that helps. I had to switch the arms from IK to FK in the 'gun shoot action' so that the constraints that hold the gun to the hand bone would work better... so IK/FK is all working in SF.

I have not noticed yet or tested to see if SmartSkin makes it thru to Sketchfab... I know all the bone weights I set are working.

I now have real-time SSS on the skin and Screen-Space-Reflections on the floor which look cool but are in no ways accurate or ray-traced... but c'mon- IT'S REAL-TIME RENDERING IN A BROWSER! I'm digging this! https://skfb.ly/6K66F

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I'm surprised that the constraints work. i presumed that everything was getting baked onto a set of FK bones.

Or maybe that is what happens?

If you had a character who was constrained to point their hand at some object that a game player could move, would that work, or is all animation something that is baked?


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Good question. I am working-up the nerve to approach Unity... or Unreal... or whatever is the latest-greatest game engine. I would probably say 'no' because A:M's constraints live within A:M, hard to constrain to something down the line. That will be answered in that arena- not Sketchfab, which is a great viewer and tester... it is becoming a marketplace for 3D models as you can buy/sell if you are a 'premier($) user'.

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@john: I've been using Unity3d with A:M for quite some time now for smaller stuff... same workflow more or less and it can import and access the animations created with A:M and exported from Unwrap3d.

@robert: A:M's directx-exporter can't do it and I think I asked the original developer way back if it would be possible to include vertex-/cp-/muscle-/morph-target-animations and he said it would not be possible with directX. It only supports bones and cp/vertex weights. It might be possible with DirectX 9, but the plugin can only export v8. But I am not sure if v9 would make any difference for that...


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Here is a potential scenario that might work for baked animation.

  1. Model and smartskin your Character A.
  2. Use the Group constraint to attach a small bone to every CP that is in the Smart Skin
  3. Animate Character A and bake the bone motion including the bones following the Smart Skin
  4. Create a copy (B) of your Character A that has Group Constraints deleted
  5. Every Character B CP that was in the Smart Skins is attached to the bone that was  Grouped Constrained to it in the Character A version.
  6. In a Chor, drop the baked Action that was made from Character A onto Character B. The bone motion that was created by bones following Smartskin in Character A will now move CPs in Character B.


This would be tedious to do manually but a wizard could be made to do step 2 and step 5 would be done with Auto-Assign bones.

If one of us knew C++ and could write wizard like that...  hmmm... if only one of us knew...





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