What's Good Topology For Normal Map Baking?

Before anything, I’d like to say this is my first time posting on the forums.

I’ve been trying to follow a High-Poly to Low-Poly workflow recently. I do know how to bake normal maps, it’s just that they don’t come out very nicely. I am aware the closer the high-poly is to the low-poly the better the bake, however I never seem to get good ones. There is usually some problems everywhere on the normal. Another question I’d like to ask is how any cuts should I use at least for baking normals onto cylinders? I thought 8 would work but most of the time o see people using 12+. Any help is appreciated, and thank you for accepting me into the forums.


Moved from “General Forums > Blender and CG Discussions” to “Support > Modeling”

Make sure to never have sharp 90 degree angles, bevel those edges. Even if it’s a sub-pixel(in terms of the final bake) bevel its better than leaving a sharp 90 degree edge/corner in there. Also I’m not sure what you mean when you say “cuts”:

Do you mean UV seams? In theory the less diced up the better, but then also the less UV deformation/stretch the better, and then also the more uniform the texel sizes the better, and these can often be at odds with each-other.

Honestly it would help if we could see these problematic normal maps so we could offer actual feedback.

I’d rather put it exactly the opposite way(the closer the low-poly is to the high-poly…), and even then that’s not necessarily always true.

Thanks for the help. And I meant that option in the left-hand toolbar I when spawning a cylinder or circle. I think it says “Vertices” and defaults to 32. What’s a good count for that?

A good count depends on what you need and/or can afford in poly budget without on the other hand over-complicating the mesh.

Most cases I see people using 16. Is that good? 8 doesn’t work, that I know for sure.

8 can work if you are willing to go in and fix ‘problems’ with the normal map later in something like photoshop. If not however then the greater resolution you can afford in your poly budget to approximate the curvature the better.