Developer Jorge Rodriguez has made SMAK 2.0, his normal-map-baking tool, available as open-source software. It previously cost $30.
SMAK – the acronym stands for ‘Super Model Army Knife’ – bakes detail from hi-res models onto low-resolution geometry, and is capable of generating normal, ambient occlusion and cavity maps.
The package can import models in over 40 file formats, including many common games modding formats, Blender scene files and BVH motion-capture files.
It also converts textures to normal maps, and according to Rodgriguez, “can pet your dog and make you dinner”.
While we aren’t giving up on cooking just yet, it looks like a fast, straightforward way to create basic games maps, for situations where you don’t need a package with a lot of fine-tuning options.
SMAK 2.0 is available for Windows XP and above (Vista and above if you want all of the ambient occlusion options). Mac OS X and Linux versions are in development.
If you like the tool, Rodriguez has left the old sales page up, so you can ‘buy’ to help support future development.
Support future development by ‘buying’ a copy of SMAK 2.0 (voluntary donation)