Originally posted by Nusirilo
Now what does polygon baking mean, if you dont mind me asking? Also, in the image samples that you gave, was the 5000 poly model used in the game? If so, isn't it somewhat low detail?
Technically the 5000 poly model was used in the game...
That's what it looked like. Basically what happens is the low poly mesh gets textured with a normal map. Every pixel on the screen gets individually lit -- and if it touches a section of a normal mapped model... it doesn't take the lighting data from the flat surface. Oh no my friend, it grabs the surface normal in the normal map and sees which way its pointed.
Basically what you're doing is gently nudging the light vector off-angle to adjust its brightness... and the lighting data is taken from the high-poly mesh. If the polygon's pointed at you, but the normal map says that texel
's normal is pointed down and right, it adjusts the brightness accordingly.
And yes -- all smart engine programmers take into account texel shifts... don't worry about your color map being shifted around.