Introduction
Usage
Videos
History
Requirements
Installation
Ordering

TrueArt's Batch Baking Camera is LightWave Layout plugin to automate baking objects surfaces.

In LightWave v9.0 there was introduced custom camera plugin class, and one of kind is Surface Baking Camera for baking object surface to image file. But to function correctly it requires to open user-interface for every single object and picking up item and uv map from drop-down list then pressing Render Frame (or F9 key) and saving rendered image on disk. When you have to bake hundred or thousands of objects, so simple task quickly becomes real pain taking many hours.

That's why we have made our TrueArt's Batch Baking Camera to greatly simplify this unpleasant process and make use of full power of renderfarm in baking surface.

Unlike Surface Baking Camera, our Batch Baking Camera doesn't require to set any item or uv name. Instead it completely automatically assigns the all active objects to frames in animation. Therefore it allows using Render Scene command (F10 key), or sending whole scene to renderfarm and render hundred or thousands object surfaces in one single key press.

TrueArt's Batch Baking Camera key features:

  • Very efficient regular rendering. With UV Border option set to 0% tests showed 225% speed-up in comparison to LightWave's Surface Baking Camera (example 220,000 polygons object).
  • Very effiecient UV Border rendering. The bigger value, the faster rendering than original LightWave (in which it quickly goes through the roof).
  • More accurate UV Border support. Original LightWave often renders UV Border with dots (color taken from environment set in Effects > Backdrop window).
  • Rendering by Render Scene command.
  • Rendering by ScreamerNet or other Renderfarm Controller.

On the left image you can see the plugin control panel, that you should see after switching camera type to Batch Baking Camera in Camera Properties window.

Frames is read-only drop-down list of all automatically assigned items and uvs to frames, therefor you can learn what will be in which frame. It's updated after pressing Update button.

First Frame is read-only field, information for you to what value set First in Render Globals. It's updated after pressing Update button.

Last Frame is read-only field, information for you to what value set Last in Render Globals. It's updated after pressing Update button.

Pattern is C/C++ sprintf-like format string informing plugin how file name looks like on disk. It should match settings from Render Globals > Output. LWSDK doesn't give any friendly way to get this information automatically. This field is used only by Batch Rename command. Maximum size of this field is 256 characters.

Filter Item is case-sensitive optional string field containing filter to item name or part of name, separated by comma. It's automatically updating list of frames. f.e. "test,sphere". Maximum size of this field is 1024 characters.

Filter UV is case-sensitive optional string field containing filter to uv name or part of name, separated by comma. It's automatically updating list of frames. f.e. "bake me,head uv". Maximum size of this field is 1024 characters.

Extensitve Scanning enables/disables more accurate but slower method of learning what UV Maps are in object. If you don't have special kind of UV Maps, that are all discontinuous UVs, you don't need to enable this option. Use only if UV Map really exists, but is not showed up in Frames drop-down list after using Update button.

This is example of what Frames drop-down list will show you.

Press Update button after:

  • Rearranging items in scene.
  • Adding object(s).
  • Loading new object(s).
  • Removing object(s).
  • Activating or deactivating object(s) in Scene Editor.
  • Renaming object(s) or UV Map(s).
  • Adding or deleting UV Map(s).
Batch Rename button should be executed as the last operation, after successful rendering of image sequence by Render Scene or ScreamerNet. It will change all frames starting from First Frame to Last Frame, file names matching Pattern to [prefix]_[object name]_[surface name].[file format extension]. Make sure files with such names doesn't exist!

Ray Direction can be calculated from Geometric Polygon Normal or from Smoothed Polygon Normal.

Offset defines distance from spot world position, from which ray will be fired to spot. Use accurate value to object's scale.

UV Border is equivalent of the same option in Surface Baking Camera, with one exception- it's in percents, instead of pixels.

Flip U enables/disables horizontal flipping of rendered image.

Flip V enables/disables vertical flipping of rendered image.

It's advised to download videos to disk using Save File As... and watch in off-line movie player.

BatchBakingCamera at work. Change YouTube quality to Full HD!

Download 1st animation (17.191 MB) illustrating BatchBakingCamera plugin in work!

Changes made in the 1.3 (27-Nov-2010)

  • Added Filter Item option.
  • Added Filter UV option.

Changes made in the 1.2 (24-Jun-2010)

  • Added Macintosh 32 bit and 64 bit version.

Changes made in the 1.1 (12-Apr-2010)

  • Added Windows 64 bit version.

Changes made in the 1.0 (8-Apr-2010)

  • The first official Windows release.

Minimum Windows Requirements

  • LightWave v9.6+
  • Pentium or better
  • Windows 32 bit

Recommended Windows Requirements

  • Core i7 930 or Quad-Core Xeon
  • Windows 64 bit

Minimum Macintosh Requirements

  • LightWave v9.6+
  • MacOS X

Recommended Macintosh Requirements

  • Core i7 930 or Quad-Core Xeon

Installing the product

In order to install the program, please extract the archive to some location on your hard disk.

On Windows ®, the archive is in the ZIP format. You will need 3rd party software such as WinZIP, which you can download from http://www.winzip.com (it's not included in the package), or other compatible software to decompress the archive.

Windows XP ® has built-in ZIP support (simply right click on the archive’s icon, and choose ‘Extract all files...’).

On Macintosh ®, the archive is in the SIT format. You will need 3rd party software such as StuffIt, which you can download from http://www.stuffit.com (it's not included in the package), or compatible software to decompress the archive.

The LightWave ® plugin does not require files to be in specific locations, which is a very nice feature. But for easier file management it is recommended that the plugin files (i.e. those with .p extension) be copied to your LightWave ® plugins folder (f.e. LightWave\Plugins\).

Installing LightWave ® Layout Plugins

Run the LightWave ® Layout executable. Select pop-down menu Layout > Utilities ® Add Plugins..., then find the folder containing the new plugin files and select them. You should see a message from LightWave telling you that the plugins have been added successfully. The changes will be saved to your configuration file when you quit the program.

Click on the image to see it at full resolution.

Uninstalling the product

Uninstalling LightWave ® Layout Plugins

Run the LightWave ® Layout executable. Select pop-down menu Layout > Utilities > Edit Plugins..., then select the plugin files and press the Delete button. The changes will be saved to your configuration file when you quit the program. Now you can safely remove the files from your hard disk.

Click on the image to see it at full resolution.

Price

The price for a single license (product installed on the one machine) is 50 USD (United States Dollars).

On-line ordering

This is the preferred ordering method. It has several advantages:

  • Easy. You just need to type your personal and credit card details into the order form, and you will receive your goods within max. 48 hours.
  • Fast. Usually, you will receive the purchased products within an hour (depending on the time difference between where you live, and the hours we are working)!
  • Safe. You are sure your order won’t be stolen in transit, or held up by postal strikes etc.