What is Knald?

Knald is a ground breaking, standalone, ultra-fast GPU powered solution for generating incredibly high quality textures from high to low polygonal meshes via The Baker or any 2d source texture from the real-time Color To Normals mode & the Normal & Height Maps provided by The Integrator.
 
It provides the tools you need to reduce iteration times, increase the quality of your project & improve the productivity of your artists by integrating seamlessly into current physically based pipelines with Knald’s next generation feature set.
 
 

Powerful Next Generation Baking Solution

Our powerful next generation baking solution sets the standard for content creation. We pride ourselves in proving that speed and quality are not mutually exclusive endeavours as we harness the power of modern hardware and push your PC to the limit in order to generate your content.
 
With the ability to bake Tangent Space Normal1), Object Space Normal, Tangent Space Bent Normal, Object Space Bent Normal, Derivative, Displacement/Height, Ambient Occlusion, Concavity, Convexity, Curvature (single & dual channel), Transmission, Vertex Color & Material ID maps, Knald can help give you the tools and functionality that you need to ensure that your project’s baking pipeline is the best that it can be.
 
 
 

 

Art by Dan Roarty

8k support

 

Simultaneous Vertex Color, Derivative, Height & Tangent/Object Space Normal Baking

 

Interactive Ambient Occlusion, Bent Normals & Transmission Baking

 

Fast, High Poly Mesh Based Curvature (Single & Dual Channel)

 

Instant 100% Dilation/Bleed

 

Fast & Intuitive Mesh Loading with NGon Support

 

Post Bake Normal Strength Scaling

 

Custom FBX Tangent Space Support

 

Savable User Settings

 

 

Interactive Cage Adjustment (Push)

Interactively adjust (push) the projection & range cages quickly & easily for fast, seamless iteration with our refined ray projection interface.

 

Non-topologically Matching Cages

Unlike many other baking solutions Knald does not require matching topology between the low poly and imported cage meshes. This novel solution gives artists the freedom to adjust the cage manually without having to worry about inadvertently altering the vertex order, UVs or triangle count prior to export from their 3d application of choice.

Art by Jordan Cain

 
 
 

Unique Mesh Caching System

Knald’s next generation baker features a unique mesh caching system where all meshes are processed and cached during the initial bake, to be then reused in all bakes thereafter.
 
This means that as long as the source files are not modified on disk there is no need for Knald to reload & reprocess them each time, which massively reduces redundancy in the baking pipeline & increases the productivity of artists.
 

 
 
 

16x Anti-aliasing (Supersampling)

Knald features the incredible ability to bake all textures with ultra high quality 16x anti-aliasing (Supersampling) enabled all the way up to 8k, giving an increase in sampling quality of 200-400% over other dedicated baking solutions that only offer a maximum of 4x or 8x anti-aliasing.
Art by Charles Metze III

 
 
 

Physically Based 3D Preview with Image Based Lighting (IBL)

Our fast, efficient & high quality 3d preview window allows you to view your results instantly using current generation physically based rendering standards & without having to worry about a drop in quality or the need to waste time exporting content to external programs just to preview your results.
 
Beautifully rendered with Image Based Lighting (IBL), MSAA & with multiple user adjustable material surface presets, an intuitive interface and dock-able window, Knald provides a consistent environment in which to work your magic.
 

 

Metal/Smoothness Workflow

Knald uses the Metal/Smoothness workflow standard which enables efficient viewing of source art and allows the user to preview either pre-made Albedo, Metalness or Smoothness textures or use our intuitive Surface controls to define physically accurate materials within the 3d preview window.

 

100% MikkTSpace Support

MikkTSpace has been fully integrated into Knald, ensuring the normal maps generated from within The Baker are instantly compatible with the majority of current generation rendering engines, such as Unity 5.3+, Marmoset Toolbag 2 & Unreal Engine 4.7+.
 

Perfect Viewport Synchronisation

We have painstakingly ensured that our 3d preview is perfectly synchronized with the MikkTSpace compliant tangent space normals maps generated from within The Baker. This allows you to debug any potential issues with your source art before wasting precious time and resources importing the content into the target engine.
 

 
 
 

Real-time 3D preview Tessellation

With 7 levels of tessellation, Knald allows you to view your Heightmaps displaced on a multi-million polygon primitive mesh in real-time, using our 3D preview’s fast, efficient & scalable tessellation.
 

Stunning Parallax

Our high quality Parallax solution, a synthesized tangent space and true height field, allows you to visualize the magnitude of displacement which correctly corresponds to the Normal/Derivative map in a fast and efficient manner.
 

Lighting, Mesh rotation & UV control

Effortlessly control your lighting, mesh rotation, UV offset & tiling amounts – then reset them with a click of a button. 

 

GGX Specular Term

Our specular solution fully supports the current physically based industry standard GGX specular term, which improves realism & physical accuracy with a shorter, more visually pleasing hotspot size (peak) & increased tail length over specular terms found in previous generations.
 
Knald’s accurate implementation of GGX is extremely robust & provides noiseless results, even with the most demanding environment maps. This allows you to integrate Knald into your pipeline seamlessly, and without sacrifices in visual quality.
 

 

The Integrator & Other Key Features

 

Best in class Normal to Height Generation & High Precision Work Flow

All calculations & processing is performed in double/single precision floating point (float64/float32) to generate excellent quality, accurate height maps generated from a Normal/Derivative or photo-sourced texture.
 

Pixel perfect 8, 16 and 32bit support

Our robust 8, 16 and 32bit file I/O and image processing pipeline preserves your high precision data.
 
We have painstakingly ensured that with our robust I/O pipeline, with full 8, 16 and 32bit (integer and float) support, you will never suffer from precision drop due to lazy or poor coding and can focus on creating great art!
 
You can preview your Heightmaps displaced on a primitive mesh, in real-time, with our 3D preview’s fast, efficient and scalable tessellation. There is no more need to go through complex workflows to get a Heightmap into your engine only to find that it doesn’t look the way you hoped.
 

You can be sure that your textures are in good hands with Knald!

AO, Concavity, Convexity & Curvature Maps

Knald’s ultra fast & extremely high quality image based Ambient occlusion results rival that of “baked” AO & is inherently noiseless. Fully adjustable in real-time which means no more waiting!
 
Our stunning Concavity, Convexity & Curvature maps can be tailored quickly and efficiently to suit your specific needs & are optimized & ready to use directly after export. If you don’t have the time to wait for bakes to finish or are using image based source content, simply adjust the results to your liking & get stuck in!

 
 
 

Character art by Gavin Goulden

 

 

Art by Dan Roarty

Mesh Ambient Occlusion

In addition to our ground breaking Baker, Knald also offers a fantastic solution for those times when High Poly source data is not available.
 
Even bakes from multi-million polygonal meshes that can take almost 30 minutes in other modern GPU baking tools take only 2-3 minutes in Knald.**
 
By harnessing the power of 64bit and modern GPUs, Knald can even generate Mesh AO from UV mapped multi-million polygonal meshes with only your amount of VRAM limiting your potential! Want to use a 10 million triangle mesh straight from your sculpting application of choice? No problem! As long as your GPU has sufficient VRAM you are good to go!
 
When uvsed with our Concavity, Convexity & Image based AO, you may never need to “bake” another AO map again!
 

Transmission Maps

Designed to be used as omni-directional thickness map (with an attenuation ramp) for semi-translucent materials, Transmission are generated in much the same way as our high quality Mesh AO solution. & it’s just as fast. Simply load a mesh into Knald (multi-million polygonal meshes are supported), check a box and then watch Knald do its magic.
 
After only a couple of seconds you will be greeted by your new and beautiful texture which is viewable with real-time translucency in the 3d preview window.
 

 

Character art by Warren Boonzaaier

 

Dynamic Photo & Heightmap Processing

 
 

Powerful ColorToNormal functionality

Knald’s versatile ColorToNormal mode enables you to create Normal maps from photo or Heightmap source data, via our robust I/O pipeline, with full 8, 16 and 32bit (integer and float) support.
 

Unrivalled Quality & Speed

Tweak the settings to generate your desired result – all instantly viewable, non-destructive & adjustable in real-time prior to integration for near instant gratification.
 

 

*Test was performed using an Nvidia GeForce GTX 560Ti 448 GPU, 4096 rays, a 20k triangle mesh & a 2048² texture.
**Test was performed using an Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 GPU, 4096 rays, a 6.3m triangle mesh & a 8192² texture.

 

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