I just spent the last hour in Blender trying to bake a diffuse texture from a model created with photogrammetry to a lo-poly model created in Blender. I checked and double checked every setting. I went back to tutorials that I watched years ago. I looked for new issues that might be caused by the latest version. I finally found the problem.
The software I use for photogrammetry is Zephyr. It outputs the textured models in several formats. The two formats that can be imported into Blender or OBJ and FBX. I chose FBX. I chose poorly.
No matter what I did, I could not bake the texture from the FBX model to a low poly model.
When I went back to Zephyr and exported as OBJ, all my problems went away.
And I went down to the demonstration To get my fair share of abuse We’re gonna vent our frustration If we don’t, we going blow a 50-amp fuse
You Can’t Always Get What Your Want by the Rolling Stones
I wasn’t frustrated, but I beat them by 10 amps. This week I blew a couple of 60 amp fuses. As a reminder that I need to order more spares, I have two blown fuses on my desk. I decided that they could be used to test what kind of results I can get modeling with photogrammetry. I get questionable results when I have labels that are on a cylindrical surfaces. Since your eye knows what to look for when looking at text, texture errors in the labels really stands out.
The following story is about how I converted the photogrammetry model into a good mesh with good topology. If you’re interested in how I messed up and blew a couple 60 amp fuses, then jump to the end.
I posted a start/stop button on CGTrader today. I was looking for something to model in low poly and I was inspired during a walk through our machine shop. The start/stop button on the bandsaw is a little detail that can be added to machine models.
My idea was to model it buttons with details (hi-poly) and then again with no-details (lo-poly). Then bake the diffuse and normal maps from the hi-poly model to the lo-poly model. It didn’t work as suspected.
When I sit down to create a new model, I try to come up with something that will be helpful to someone creating a complex scene. Today’s addition is a safety barrier. These barriers are often used in industrial settings or somewhere that needs crowd control.
It was modeled with curves in Blender and then converted to a mesh. The material is very simple. It’s a yellow, non-metallic surface with some procedural bumps to make it look like paint.
When I am tasked with modeling old equipment, I like to do a photo scan (photogrammetry) first. This allows me to go back when I’m done with the design and compare important features. If you have ever made a part and then discovered it was off by 1″ when you went to install it, you’ll understand the value of this.
I once designed a bracket for a generator. I used a tape measure to draw the as received part. Normally, when I use a tape measure, I don’t use the end of the tape. I just don’t trust that the end isn’t bent or the slot in the tape that allows the end to move 1/16″ isn’t damaged. I line up one edge with 10″ and then take the measurement subtracting 10″ from what I read on the other end.
Well…I use 10″ now. I used to measure by lining up the first edge with 1″ and this created the problem with the generator bracket because I forgot to subtract the 1″. The bracket was about 20″ tall and I forgot to subtract the 1″ from the measurement. If I had started with 10″, my error would have been obvious when I was drawing the new bracket.
The lesson learned was that initial measurements are sometimes wrong. If you are modifying a design, that initial photo scan can tell you alot.
So…today I scanned a fluid drive. This is an old American Standard Size 315 Gyrol fluid drive. The size “315” refers to the diameter of the oil circuit inside the fluid drive where 315 = 31.5″.
Even though 99.999% of artist don’t know what a fluid drive is or how it works, they may find the old authentically dirty look an interesting addition to an industrial scene. I didn’t do much work after scanning it. So if you want to use it in a large scene, you may want to decimate it a bit.
I suppose the platform truck has limited use, so I try to think of a similar model that would have more use. I’m guessing more stories are told in hotels than in big box home stores, so this time I molded a luggage cart.
I took a break from creating CGTrader models for a while. When CAD work fills my day, it’s hard to get motivated to do even more drawing when I get home. Fortunately, I have a job where I wear many hats and lately I have been doing more Photoshop and Blender work, and it has inspired me to get back into Blender modeling.
I have started modeling again.
Today I modeled a platform truck. The only place I have ever seen these trucks is at Home Depot or Lowes, but maybe it will come in handy for someone.
With COVID-19 making a insane world crazier, I haven’t had to travel for work in a while. Almost a year after lock-downs, I had my first onsite trip to a power plant in western Pennsylvania. I worked the night shift and had nothing to do in my downtime. Even though modeling on a laptop is far from ideal, it’s better than watching daytime TV. So with a tape measure in hand, I modeled the nightstand, lamp and alarm clock.