I wanted to share some great tools I recently bought.
First there is ShaderMap. ShaderMap creates textures for displacement, normal, ambient occlusion, specular and DUDV maps for refraction. After test driving and evaluating CrazyBump and ShaderMap my choice fell on ShaderMap. First, the price… A full version of ShaderMap is $20 vs. $200 for CrazyBump. But not only the price was an influence. I think the interface of ShaderMap is vay superios than Crazybump. In ShaderMap all the functions are right at your finger tip. All the different maps are in the same pane. I didn’t like the step-by-step approach the CrazyBump interface has.
Both programs create great maps. At the end of the day the interface decided the winner here even though the interface is not scalable it is more organized than CrazyBump.
Sitting and waiting for any 3D app to render is tedious. The word “mental” in a certain renderer is synonymy for the state of it’s users…
I was looking for an alternative to bake AO passes and found one: faogen (Fast AO Generator)
It uses the graphics card to render the ambient occlusion. While the user interface is simple and easy it also allows the more experienced artists to fiddle with more advanced things as the shader that is used to AO bake etc.
I just want nice looking AO maps in no time and that is exactly what faogen does.
The following images show what took me 5 minutes to do. Opening the geometry (A) rendering with default settings (B) and adjusting the settings a bit. The five minutes includes rendering btw.