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Normal mapping seam question
show user profile  digs
I've been wondering about this for a long time... typically I just hide seams where they aren't noticeable, but I'm wondering why generating a normal map where you have a seam in the uv creates this radically different normal direction

ie, where that normal map seam is, there is also a uv island border

have I been doing something improperly or is this just a thing?
read 506 times
7/8/2016 9:33:05 AM (last edit: 7/8/2016 9:33:40 AM)
show user profile  herfst1
It doesn't happen for me. It looks, from your results, that possibly the uv islands are scaled differently, your top section looks lower res... but that's besides the point.

If I do baking 99% of the time I'm exporting from zbrush, and baking in xnormal. I don't get seams. Try that workflow.
read 502 times
7/8/2016 9:43:11 AM (last edit: 7/8/2016 9:43:11 AM)
show user profile  digs
Dang, seriously?

I use the same workflow, and the uv islands are proportional...

Here's a quick example illustrating the issue on a simple object

I'd love to know if u can replicate that without any seams???

edit - or maybe i can upload the objects if u want to test on them... This has been a thing on every object I've ever normal mapped and would love to figure out whats going on
read 488 times
7/8/2016 10:32:23 AM (last edit: 7/8/2016 10:40:40 AM)
show user profile  herfst1
Interesting. It could be your xnormal settings... not sure what settings though... also it could be your unwrapping, I unwrap my meshes in max... but I don't really get why that would make a difference...
read 483 times
7/8/2016 10:44:23 AM (last edit: 7/8/2016 10:44:23 AM)
show user profile  HANZZ
A general rule: when you burn normals in max, make sure you use the ENTIRE low res and ENTIRE high rez model, unless you're burning a part that's not contiguous with the rest of the mesh. A robot is one example.

Even if something is exactly the same on the left side and right side, the low rez needs the smoothing of the entire object in order to create proper normal maps.

If you refer to the sudden color transitions shown in the normal map at seams in the uv, they don't matter so long as it renders correctly.

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 470 times
7/8/2016 8:29:14 PM (last edit: 7/8/2016 8:29:14 PM)
show user profile  digs
*edit* also baked normals from max and topogun, no difference

hm yea the low poly mesh is under a single smoothing group (and was when baked)

here's a vray render with only the normal map applied to the object (gamma override 1.0)

When you say as long as it renders correctly, what do you mean?

Looking into this further I came across a post on the issue from a few years ago in which someone mentions "... normally ok across the whole model but where the two seams join the normal map normals will reflect light at 90 degrees where as the actual planes of the model reflect them at opposing angles resulting in light not being uniformly spread over both parts of the seam"

looking at the model this appears to be exactly what's happening... Vanilla bakes produce this by nature(?) but there are a bunch of tedious ways to either paint it out or make the effect less noticable

Anyway, I got bored and made a gif

read 462 times
7/8/2016 9:09:54 PM (last edit: 7/8/2016 10:31:14 PM)
show user profile  HANZZ
Let's see the low rez mesh you used for the burn. The actual model, in max, as you have it currently. Make sure to weld all seams before you burn.

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 441 times
7/9/2016 1:40:34 AM (last edit: 7/9/2016 1:40:34 AM)
show user profile  HANZZ
Okay, I made a simple max file, with a low rez unwrapped object, and a high rez random blob object to burn normals from. Find it here:

Set up your burn parameters as you do, and post a render of the object when done. What I got was without seams whatsoever.

Image Hosted by

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 440 times
7/9/2016 1:55:31 AM (last edit: 7/9/2016 1:58:05 AM)
show user profile  HANZZ
So have you looked at the file I offered? Export a .3ds of your scene so I can take a look at what you have to this point.

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 411 times
7/9/2016 10:56:57 PM (last edit: 7/9/2016 10:56:57 PM)
show user profile  S. Silard
@HANZZ I see you are active in this topic, so I tell you here, that your signature usually get's broken as fuck.

Congrats, you found my signature.

read 402 times
7/10/2016 1:50:23 AM (last edit: 7/10/2016 1:50:23 AM)
show user profile  HANZZ
Does it not show or.....? I'm still trying to find out how to get it to center. Had it all fine a few years ago but now that I'm fiddling around on here again, I realize I forgot.

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 399 times
7/10/2016 3:03:35 AM (last edit: 7/10/2016 3:03:35 AM)
show user profile  S. Silard
It usually get's into the same line as your text does.

As you probably know, maxforums uses html in it's posts. This is how you center just about anything:

Congrats, you found my signature.

read 398 times
7/10/2016 3:40:58 AM (last edit: 7/10/2016 3:40:58 AM)
show user profile  HANZZ
Digs? Had a look at the file?

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 377 times
7/10/2016 10:49:52 PM (last edit: 7/10/2016 10:49:52 PM)
show user profile  digs
Yo! very cool, downloading now

are you rendering in scanline there?
read 374 times
7/11/2016 12:52:57 AM (last edit: 7/11/2016 12:53:30 AM)
show user profile  HANZZ
Yep, scanline. Download and install/use this handy little perfectly matches up uv pieces to the exact relative scale of the overall model.

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 369 times
7/11/2016 2:05:36 AM (last edit: 7/11/2016 2:05:36 AM)
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