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Normal texture looks faceted | Substance 3D bakers

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  3. Bakers settings
    1. Common Parameters
    2. Ambient Occlusion
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  5. Features
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  6. Common questions
    1. How to export the baked maps?
    2. Is dithering applied to baked textures?
    3. Should I enable "Compute tangent space per fragment"?
    4. What are Assbin files?
    5. What is the bit depth of baked textures?
    6. What is the difference between the OpenGL and DirectX normal format?
    7. Why are there strange stretches in my textures after baking or exporting?
    8. Why is Matching by Name not working with Ambient Occlusion/Thickness?
    9. Why is my mesh fully black after baking?
  7. Common issues
    1. Aliasing on UV Seams
    2. Baker output is fully black or empty
    3. Baking failed with Color Map from Mesh
    4. Black shading cross are visible on the mesh surface
    5. Mesh parts bleed between each other
    6. Normal map has strange colorful gradients
    7. Normal texture looks faceted
    8. Seams are visible after baking a normal texture
    9. Seam visible on every face
    10. Texture baked outside of Substance software looks incorrect

Normal texture looks faceted

Alert:

Issue

The Normal texture looks faceted or every face of the mesh is visible in it after baking it.


Note:

Explanation

The main reason why baking a normal would produce this result is because the low poly mesh normals are not set properly. Every edge of each faces is an hard edge, making the ray projection during the matching with the high-poly mesh ignore neighboar information and creates seams or unconscious information. While the result may look fine on the mesh, this can lead to shading issues later and should be resolved.

Note:

Solution

The main solution is to rework the vertex normal or the low poly mesh, the exact naming of the process depend of the 3D modeling software:

  • Use average normals in Maya, Houdini.
  • Use one smoothing group in 3DS Max.
  • Use smooth shade in Blender.
  • Meshes exported from zBrush will be always faceted and should be cleaned up in another software.

Note that this may not be enough: make sure that the settings also save/generate the vertex normal or shading information when exporting a mesh.

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