Baking normals from a High Poly mesh to a low poly subtle issue

Hi, I’m having an issue I did not notice until I made a render of my model and I found out it was because of the normals I baked. I created a high poly model of this package and sculpted it to get the shape and details I wanted, then I did retopology to get a low poly version of it and then baked the normals, but I’m getting these artifacts that are barely noticeable but annoying.

I tried searching for this but I didn’t know where or how to start searching for this, but the closer you look at it the more noticeable it gets, like if the shading had patches of islands, if you were looking at an elevation map of a terrain.

Then if I crank up the value of the normal and I preview it with the nodewrangler it becomes even more visible

These are the models both hp and lp

Looks like the artifacts you get with low bit depth that’s noticable on glossy objects. I don’t use blender for baking, but isn’t there a option to dither the bake or use a higher bit depth (more than 8)?

This has more info.

That’s an interesting post, thank you for sharing it.

At one point I thought it had to do with the bit count since that’s how it looks whenever you see a gif or video with a low bit rate. From what Blender offers in bake settings there’s nothing you can tweak to increase that value. When I saved the image I did it in .png, but after seeing the article you shared I also saved it as a .tiff file and still getting the same result.

I use png most of the time and dithered 8 bit bake from Toolbag with no visible artifacts. xNormal is a free baking alternative to try, it atleast used to be pretty good and has more options than blenders baking.

I will give a try then, thanks. Also I’ll check other alternatives to bake this since I own Substance Painter and I could also get Marmoset Toolbag in the next sale. I was just unsure if those programs actually had the option to bake like this, between a high poly count model to a low poly one, because I know for a fact subtance and marmoset baked all kinds of maps.

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There seems to be option to use 16 bit bake and 32 bit exr in blender also, but then you’d have to dither it in photoshop if youd want to use 8 bit at the end. At least from quick google search it seemed it had some color space issues few years ago in some cases. Output panel has it and Bake Wranglers addon output also has options for higher bit depth.

Toolbag is excellent though.

Yes, I did try a few options in the output settings but they didn’t seem to change a thing. I just went with Substance Painter and did the baking, not a problem after I imported the normal into Blender. Guess I’ll just incorporate Substance to my workflow now, I was just lazy to begin learning it.

Thank you for replying and helping me out :smiley:

It seems that the texture it bakes to needs to be higher bit depth before hand and the output is just final conversion. Some info in the link, but yeah, it’s easier to just use other software for baking.

No problem :slight_smile: