Can u explain?

Could someone explain to me what is baking, normal mapping, LSM and shape key in layman term? I am trying to twist my head on these concept and I bet there going to be more when 243 is out!!

Baking is like baking a cake - a soupy mush becomes firm. Some things in Blender are very fluid and open to influences by other objects and environmental dynamics. Baking firms these things up so that they do NOT change each time you press the Anim button.

Normal mapping has to do with how light is reflected off of and transmitted through a surface. It’s a geometry term meaning basically at right angles

LSM is the process of mapping a 2D image to a 3D model; wrapping the picture or image around the 3D mesh, as though the 2D image was painted on saran wrap.

Shape keys tell Blender how to bulge meshes as they bend. For example, look at the Hand video from Siggraph, or simply look at your bicep i the mirror. From a straight arm to the muscle man position, your forearm changes angle; but your bicep muscle bulges hugely and very manly because it’s actually doing the work. To animate it and have it look proper, you need to bone move the forearm AND bulge up the upperarm.

As a user manual writer, I hope this helps, cause we are all about layman’s terms when writing the wiki. Does it?

another description:
baking takes out things that the computer has to calculate, in other words, when you hit alt-a to test a softbody animation, it goes slow to calculate every single frame. When you bake it, it’s no longer calculated every time but instead calculated once, recorded, then played back. It’s like the differance between a play and a video, the play has to be preformed every time you see it but the video is only recorded once, and can then be seen over and over.

normal mapping and bump mapping (same thing) are fake details. Imagine an embossed surface. On the surface each letter is indented a little. a normal map can fake that. the real way to make that in blender would be to model every little indent, but normal mapping takes an image that tells blender that those letters are indented, so you can just have a plane instead. a simple form of normal map is a greyscale image. Imagine you’re looking at a landscape from the top-down. The higher the elevation the more snow there is so the whiter it appears. black areas are lowest, white are highest. so our embossed letters would be a white image with black letters, I’ll post a picture in a minute.

lsm? do you mean lscm? if so:
lscm is a way to uv-map. a uvmap is like an unfolded paper model. With the model unfolded you can draw on details easily, it’s flat! then, the computer ‘folds’ this into the shape of you model. This is how it applies textures.

and shape keys:
this is a type of animating, it’s like this:
when you pick something up and move it you’re doing simple animation, the object doesn’t change, it’s just moved around.
when you grab a piece of cloth and pull it, the cloth changes shape, not just location.
shape keys are a way to do that. It’s basically a simple animation (i.e. just moving) for each vertice, that way, you can change the actual object. This is one way of may.
a single shape key is a single state of the object, i.e. when the vertices in a piece of cloth are arranged into a ball on the floor. or when they are arranged neatly folded in a droor. If you have both, the computer can then animate an object between keys, just like you’d pick up some cloth and fold it, changing it’s shape.

-hope that makes sense

here’s an example of normal mapping:
this:
http://addertooth.net/blender/1.jpg
plus this:
http://addertooth.net/blender/2.jpg
equals this:
http://addertooth.net/blender/3.jpg

thank guys the cake does taste good!!!

“Baking is like baking a cake - a soupy mush becomes firm. Some things in Blender are very fluid and open to influences by other objects and environmental dynamics. Baking firms these things up so that they do NOT change each time you press the Anim button.”

How do you make it do that?

Well, as far as I have understood the concept and if you want to be meticulous…the shown example is not real Normal mapping. Normal maps work with RGB values rather than with B+W values and are often used on Low-poly models (they are derived from the High-poly versions of these). Bump maps are made differently and have other applications.

@Darksid: Well, I’d do it like that: assign the texture to the plane and go to the “Map to” tab in the Materials panel for the plane (you obviously have to assign a Material to the mesh first). Then simply enable “nor” and disable “Col”. Play with the Nor slider to increase or decrease the strength of the bump. But I’m sure the Wiki will have even more infos on that…:wink:

http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual/Material_Nodes#Texture_Node