[AddOn] xNormal 3.18.1 import-export - Updated 7/6/13

Update 7/11/13:
-Nothing is removed from export directory except meshes if ‘Allow mesh overwrite’ is checked
-Images are now written to ./images in the export directory

Update 7/6/13:
Added an option to select cage object from objects in Blender scene

Version 0.7 is here

Update 6/20/13:
Added some things:
-An option to choose external cage file
-Option to enable / disable automatic mesh re-export
-Texture creation on lowpoly object when maps are imported
-.ply enabled as a default, disabled .obj for now

Update 6/7/13:
Minor changes, I’ve added file browser functionality for the output path and executable path, so you don’t have enter those paths in by hand any more! :slight_smile:

Update 6/4/13:
-Added most of the respective options for baking maps. ‘Bake base texture’ still missing, and ‘Bake hi-poly’s vertex colors’ doesn’t seem to be working yet.
-I’ve split the menu up into several panels, so that you can minimize them (the panels become large fast when you start enabling maps for rendering).

Update 5/30/13: It should actually work now. :slight_smile: I’ve added a couple dropdown menus for selecting the hi- and low-poly objects, instead of requiring you to make sure you’ve got the right ones selected in the right sequence. However, both objects need to be on active/visible layers when you export.

-Add a file browser for the file and application paths (when I learn how…).

Please post bugs here. If something doesn’t work, please let me know so I can fix it. Also, please feel free to request features here.

A few details:

-The .exe path needs to be the path to the binary itself, including the .exe extension.
-The output path needs to be the path to the directory AND the file name where you’d like the exported objects and generated maps to go. No file extension is necessary, since you can select the image format in the dropdown menu.

I’ll try to do more experimentation with the ‘base texture’ option and see what exactly it’s useful for in this context.

Thank you, I have been wanting a script like this for a while now. I’ll test it out soon! :slight_smile:

Hey, no problem, I hope it works all right for you :slight_smile: I’ve been wanting more Blender interactivity with third-party applications like this too. Got any other apps you use that you’d like to see more integrated import/export support for? I’m in the mood for another project.

A little bump: I’ve updated the script, it’s downloadable in post #1. I’d like to get feedback on it, if anyone’s using it.

Awesome addon, I hope. I just recently started looking at the workflow between nDo2/dDo/xNormal/Photoshop and how this might tie in to Blender. Perfect timing - thanks.

Haha “I hope.” Me too! What are nDo2 and dDo? Well as I mentioned in my previous posts, let me know if I need to add any extra features to make it more usable.

The best way to learn about nDo2 and dDo is from these two videos I recently watched. Warning: they are long! But if you skip through them I’m sure you’ll get a great overview.

While the workflow comes out of 3DS and Maya and the plugins work with Photoshop, I’m interested in how xNormal, nDo2, dDo, and Photoshop can be a workflow centered around Blender.

Not even sure yet if your addon really helps with the process, as I’m just now learning about these subjects.

Since you mention it, I wrote a script recently that will let you export an image from the UV/Image Editor window to Photoshop, then back again after you save it in PS. The paths to the application and save directory are hard coded in the script, but it’s a really easy edit, if you’d like to play with that script.

Send it up.

PM’ed you :slight_smile:

I just tried it out with a game model and the thing promises! however, i don´t know if it´s possible but the addon lacks some options, it will be useful if it permits to adjust ray number and ray lenght calcultaion for AO bake for example, and use cage option because the normal map calculation without on some overlapping zones force me to turn on that option very often, and i can´t control it for example on the addon side.
Just some ideas, don´t know if your plan it´s to support all the options on the xNormal side within the addon, or other map types like cavity or derivative maps that sometimes are pretty useful.
Good start in my IMHO, keep doing, thanks!

Just wanted you to know that I will be using this a lot, so thanks so much! For feature request: removing the limitation about visible layers would be nice.

Yeah, I hard coded the default ray number for AO to 256, but I can definitely make it a property you can alter. I didn’t know what ‘use cage’ meant, so I didn’t enable it. Thanks for the explanation, I’ll include that in the options :slight_smile: I will also add cavity maps options, and since I have no idea what derivative maps are, would you mind elaborating on what they’re useful for?

Thanks for the kudos, too, good to know this thing is getting some use!

@Spirou4D - cool, is this an external application with a GIMP plugin?? I’m gonna go try it out.

@PLyczkowski - I’ll try, but I’m not sure just yet how to do that.

Hi ohsnapitsjoel, thanks for the feedback.

Someone can correct me if i´m wrong, for me the derivative is a slope value where the map encodes the slope of the surface along UV direction within R/G channels, so it´s similar to normal map but requires another treatment. It can be useful as a mask in 2d paint too, what i do very often :wink:

You can take a look, at all the maps xNormal can bake and support all of them, because every map can be useful on 3d artist pipeline IMHO. Same goes for the options associated to each type of map.
Hope you can do it, this it´s a serious timesaver, thanks!

Hey, I took a look at your blog, that’s quality work! Mind doing any modeling/texturing tutorials?? I especially like the modeling of the JunkBot and the texturing of Ori :slight_smile:

Yeah I’ll probably go ahead and add all the maps and options I can make sense of. For instance, I really don’t understand how the ‘bake base texture’ option works with a Blender workflow. I know you can paint textures on to a voxel model in 3D-Coat, and there are texture painting tools for sculpts in Mudbox and Zbrush, but I don’t know how someone would do something like this in Blender. Vertex colors, maybe?

There are still a few things missing, but I’ve updated a lot of the options.
Still missing:
-Ability to select an external file for ‘Use cage’ option
-‘Bake base texture’ map option
-‘Bake hi-poly’s vertex colors’ doesn’t seem to work yet. I don’t know why at the moment.

I updated post #1 with the new version.

Hi @ohsnapitsjoel,

: No! Don’t install GIMP 2.6 when you install Insane Bump plugin: skip this step.

Install my script in your GIMP 2.8 plugins directory :
1 - display file becoming by . in the filemanager preference: Organize menu -> “search and directorys options” -> display -> “display hidden files and directory”
2 - userdirectory -> .GIMP-2.8 -> plug-ins

That’s all.

Ah, thanks. By the way, great script, it works wonderfully! Now to do the same with xNormal / GIMP 2.8…

Does GIMP 2.8 use Python 2.6/7, or Python 3?

Hi Joel,

GIMP 2.8 use python 2.7.

Now to do the same with xNormal / GIMP 2.8…

No problem, I mean…Does xNormal.exe to be drive by console, please?
My script use this technique: take a look in this file -> “C: mp\convert_insane.bat” with Simpletext for example.
That’s the console cmd of InsaneBump Converter.