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I'm trying to bake a normal map for this small pot mesh I plan on texturing later, but the resulting normal maps present lots of issues around the edges. enter image description here enter image description here

I've tried baking from a higher poly model to this lower poly version and with only the lower version, as well as changing the ray distances from 0 to 0.01,0.1,1 and 10, without sucess. I also tried a lot of different edges and bevels along with other ways of UV unwrapping but can't get it work.

Here are some pictures of the low poly mesh with and without the Subdivision:

enter image description here enter image description here

The UV for the body. enter image description here

The higher poly is the same with more subdivisions.

I understand that the indentation near the base can cause issues since it's very small (the whole pot is scaled realistically, and around 17 cm in diameter), but the remaining edges are also having issues and I don't understand why.

I can post the Blend file, if more information is required.

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Normals around edges tend to look funky because it is where there is the most visible difference between objects. In this case, it may depend more on how closely the edges of the the two objects are aligned.

Perhaps I can respond better to your question if you share what the lower LOD object looks like with the normal map.

Similar issues related to Normals and visible seams in renders include the following: Make sure the normal map is non-color instead of RGB at the bottom of the node. This is a common issue for visible seams. Also, other programs such as Unreal use a different standard for normal maps where the Y axis (green channel) inverted from what is standrd in Blender, which also makes seams visible and incorrect shading in the final bake. I see from what you've shared this isn't about the render view, but it's helpful to have this info for anyone with related issues.

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  • $\begingroup$ if by lower LOD you mean without the Subdivision modifier on, this is what it looks like. imgur.com/a/Q3i6nHA Otherwise the pictures on the question are already the low mesh version. $\endgroup$ – omiyage Oct 26 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ By with the normal map, I meant the shading into the normal map node. By LOD, I meant level of detail, so when I said low LOD I meant the object without the subdivide modifier. It would be helpful to know what purpose you are baking this model for. If it is for shading in a video game, you will have just as good an effect from an object with smooth shading and no normal from a subdivided object. $\endgroup$ – Zak Nelson Oct 26 at 20:07
  • $\begingroup$ Normal maps cannot change the silhouette of an object, which is why things can look dramatic in the areas of a normal map where the objects are the least aligned. $\endgroup$ – Zak Nelson Oct 26 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not that interested in the normal map itself, but it is needed to generate the AO and Curvature map later for texturing, which show the same issues when being baked. I originaly wasn't even going to use a high poly to low poly bake, I just tried it because baking with only the low mesh also didn' work. $\endgroup$ – omiyage Oct 26 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ blenderartists.org/uploads/short-url/… here is the blend file if anyone would like to take a look. $\endgroup$ – omiyage Oct 26 at 22:08
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After a lot of messing around, and some more researching, I think that the main issue was the very hard edges, with a bigger angle than 90º.

I went back to only baking from the low poly, but upped the subdvisions, beveled all the hard edges and changed my UVs from the edges themselves to something closer to them. That seems to fixed most of the issue.

It’s not a perfect solution of course, since now the model isnt’t low poly at all, and the UVs are kinda weird. Which for the purpose of just practicing texturing isn’t a big deal, but in the future I would have to find an workaround the edges.

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