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Normal map problem
show user profile  redgrail
Hey guys,

I've been working on a model and I am doing the normal mapping tests and I have come across a problem. Mind you this is my first time doing this so bare with me. Below is the image. The program I a using is 3ds Max 9 (not 2009).

The projection cage is not crashing into the high-res geometry, and that is not the only place that it is occurring. The high-res model in this test is intermediate detail from MudBox and not the full detail model. My question is whats happening ? And is there a way to fix it? Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks to those that reply.
read 3198 times
2/3/2009 5:07:57 AM (last edit: 2/3/2009 5:07:57 AM)
show user profile  mrgrotey
I would guess that you have both arms over the top of each other in the uv layout when the normal map is baking, therefore its having a hard time guessing which arm to render the normals for.

am I close? if so move the other arm out of the way (in the uvs layout) whilst you bake the normals then move it back

read 3190 times
2/3/2009 5:18:01 AM (last edit: 2/3/2009 5:18:50 AM)
show user profile  Sir_Manfred
There could also be hidden geometry in your highpoly mesh.
Try going to Editable Poly on the highres mesh and press the button "Unhide All" and see if that causes any strange objects to appear.

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read 3184 times
2/3/2009 5:26:56 AM (last edit: 2/3/2009 5:26:56 AM)
show user profile  redgrail

Nope the 2 arms are separate on the UV layout and the problem does not occur on the other arm. But both sides are identical since I sculpted them using the mirror function in mudbox. Funny thing was the first time I baked it, it had the problem. I made some adjustments and it was gone, but then came back later on.


There could be geometry hidden but I doubt it since the other side is fine. I tried unhiding any hidden geometry there but its all clear.
read 3182 times
2/3/2009 5:38:20 AM (last edit: 2/3/2009 5:48:29 AM)
show user profile  K-tonne
certainly looks like it's a proj cage collision- on the normal map in that area red? (or whatever colour you made the ray miss check- render to texture window> projection mapping> options> resolve hit> ray miss check) best practice would probably be to zero out the percent (projection rollout> cage> percent) and up the percent till there is nothing colliding (or best clearance)- helps if you put on 'shaded' in cage so you can see it better
something that might affect this also would be inverted or overlapping uv's- check by adding an unwrap uvw to the stack, going into 'face sub object mode' (bottom of the edit uvw's window in selection modes), top menu in the same window> select> select inverted faces/ overlapped faces- or that might just be something zbrush doesn't like can't remember if mudbox has an issue with that type of thing or if it's even relevant here- best to cross it off though
worse case scenario would be you'll have to paint it out
more than likely a ponty bit of mesh sticking through though
my question to you would be why didn't you get the normal map from mudbox?

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read 3152 times
2/3/2009 8:05:45 AM (last edit: 2/3/2009 8:05:45 AM)
show user profile  Ancient-Pig
Also, double check your UV's.. make sure there are no inverted faces... that kind of looks like it may be a cage issue.. except for the hard border at the top though. Does that error appear on the other side as well?

I've always found that Max makes the best normal maps.. could just be personal preference

Jon Rush
Lead Character Artist
BattleCry Studios (Bethesda)
read 3141 times
2/3/2009 9:29:24 AM (last edit: 2/3/2009 9:29:24 AM)
show user profile  Sir_Manfred
Hang on..
Did you press the "Unhide All"-button for hidden sub-objects?

Or did you press the standard Unhide feature for hidden objects?

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read 3138 times
2/3/2009 9:31:26 AM (last edit: 2/3/2009 9:31:26 AM)
show user profile  mattymoose
a couple things which may or may not help -

1. are you using Ambient Occlusion/Skylight? If so, exclude the low-poly mesh from casting shadows.
2. Make sure your high and low-poly objects Normals are all facing the right direction

read 3127 times
2/3/2009 10:11:09 AM (last edit: 2/3/2009 10:11:09 AM)
show user profile  redgrail
Wow so many replies, quicker than CG talk that's for sure. Thanks for the replies guys I'll try some of those solutions. And yes Sir_Manfred I did click the "unhide all" for the sub-object level =).


The error does not appear on the other side.
read 3111 times
2/3/2009 11:38:13 AM (last edit: 2/3/2009 11:38:36 AM)
show user profile  redgrail
Well i tried everything that was mentioned and I still get the artifacts. Here is an image of the normal map (excuse my unwrapping this is just a test):

The red spots are from Max detecting collision so don't worry bout those. The red circles however are the ones I am worried about. I have tried flipping UVs and they are fine, I double checked the projection cage to make sure there is no crashing. The only thing I don't know how to do is paint it out? Can someone give me a crash course in it or direct me to a tutorial? I've done 3D professionally in a different industry and this is the first time doing normal maps for a game character lol.

Odd thing is that it happens on one side and not the other, the body is what boggles me the most. I appreciate the help from everyone, this is for my demo reel so I hope I can get this resolved.
read 3087 times
2/3/2009 2:23:59 PM (last edit: 2/3/2009 2:28:09 PM)
show user profile  mattymoose
This is killing me, I have the same problem using bake-to-texture in Max...could it be something to do with double-sided materials?

read 3075 times
2/3/2009 2:30:17 PM (last edit: 2/3/2009 2:30:17 PM)
show user profile  redgrail
No idea, I am still trying to figure out what is causing this >=\.
read 3073 times
2/3/2009 2:34:50 PM (last edit: 2/3/2009 2:34:50 PM)
show user profile  redgrail
Do I need any special lighting setup for this? Right now I just have default lighting.
read 3060 times
2/3/2009 6:56:59 PM (last edit: 2/3/2009 6:56:59 PM)
show user profile  Ancient-Pig
Does your high poly mesh have inverted normals in those areas? I bet it doeeeesssss

Which renderer are you using? Scanline?

Jon Rush
Lead Character Artist
BattleCry Studios (Bethesda)
read 3047 times
2/3/2009 7:41:45 PM (last edit: 2/3/2009 7:42:21 PM)
show user profile  Ancient-Pig
Hurry up and tell me that I'm right!

Jon Rush
Lead Character Artist
BattleCry Studios (Bethesda)
read 3042 times
2/3/2009 7:55:34 PM (last edit: 2/3/2009 7:55:34 PM)
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