Problems with hard edges on my model

Hello there!

I am new here so I’d like to say hello to everyone!
Cool, so let’s get it started!

I can’t figure out why I have those problems with normal map I bake. I’ve got low poly knife and of course I try to bake normal map from high poly version of it. Unfortunately I’ve got some problems with hard edges and black areas plus I see some artifacts between grip and middle of knife.

I’ll give you for a test my models. You are not allowed to sell or use them in commercial purposes.

I baked normal map in Substance Painter 2.

Thank you very much in advance for any help. <— the link for downloading blend file.

Bad topology. You need some thickness even to the edge of a knife.

So basically I cannot leave that kind of edges in subsurf without thickness right? I attached new photos with other problems with my model. If you know how to fix them please write. Photos are in the first post.

The low poly mesh can only have sharp edges either at seams or nowhere. If you need to correct the shading, you can do it with bevels and custom normals. A baking cage also should be used. It’s not a question when to use a cage but when not to.

useful addons:
Weighted Normals Calculator
Yet Another Vertex Normal Editor
Handplane Baker Bridge

Also you can mess with the Max frontal and rear distances in Substance to help with difficult areas, but topology is a first. Bakers basically cast rays to find surfaces, a sharp edge is a hard target to hit/calculate.

I beveled edges on high poly mesh. Do I need to do the same on low poly one?

Only if you’re not satisfied with the results without the bevel.
If you bevel the lowpoly, 1 segment is enough for the Weighted Normals Calculator to produce an acceptable lowpoly result.

To be honest all that stuff is really strange for me as far as I am really beginner in it. I saw some cubes with 6 faces that hadn’t got any bevels and normal maps were working perfectly on each edge without any problems. Is there any possibility to achieve sth similar here?

I would be really grateful if you had time to do for example cutting edge to look normally just to show me how to fix this.

Did you mean sth like this on low poly?

Still problems

  1. I cannot guaratee anything with SP, I bake with Handplane or Blender.
  2. First, get rid of the sharp edges and test it. Then, you can start playing with bevels.

Those are seams but yeah I still have applied sharp edges. I’ll turn them off.

Without smoothing it won’t work as you can see. Lighting after adding normal map will be ugly because of this. When I had added sharp edges around that circle I didn’t have such a problem.

A high-enough normalmap can take care of this, but if not you can bevel it.

Still the same.

I checked it in substance painter and it looks like this. You can see some edges that appeared in Blender.

Highlight or describe what you want me to see.
If you’re talking about the silhouette, normalmaps can’t change it.

If not, you can further perfect the results with custom normals.