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Getting normal maps from zbrush... and Smoothing group poop
show user profile  TheShrike
Ok all, so I have been following as many discussions on normal mapping as I can and looking into it, and a lot of people seem to say not to get your NMs from Zbrush. One thing I noticed different from Groteys sea turtle tutorial using Mudbox and my own experience in Zbrush is that you can select different meshes in Mudbox to bake normals from. For example, he takes a hi res mesh that has been subdivided from an all quads mesh, and used that to project detail onto a separate low poly mesh that has triangles in it and stuff.

This doesnt seem to be the same in Zbrush. You cannot bake a Normal map from a separate mesh I dont think. The low poly HAS to be the basemesh for the hi poly. This has caused all sorts of hell for me trying to get the low poly built properly to accomadate the hi poly and vice versa.

So I should just basically not bake NMs out of Zbrush should I?

Another question I have is with smoothing groups. Grotey takes his low poly turtle and applies a single smoothing group to the whole thing in the end. THen he applys the tangent space NM. It bothers me that I can still see the vertex shading underneath my normal maps if they are tangent space. Thats one thing I love about object space maps, is it totally nullifies all the crap shading of the low poly one smoothing group. Am I missing anything here? A lot of the time I just can't get the low poly looking acceptably smooth with 1 group no matter how many hard edges I round out. IT makes me want to separate every piece of the mesh at the UV seams so that I don't have to see the crappy vertex shading undeneath my Tangent Space NM.

ANy suggestions on either of these questions? I have used Xnormal before and 3ds max NM baking ( regarding the first question) but would just like any ideas anyone has or obvious things I might be missing.

read 1240 times
6/24/2011 10:01:12 PM (last edit: 6/24/2011 10:01:12 PM)
show user profile  K-tonne
you can import an arbitrary mesh (lowest subD level) into zbrush and it will project the original high poly detail onto the new geometry if you have a more recent version of zb than 3.0
how good a job it does at this is dependent entirely on how close the new mesh matches the original of course

you could try parallax maps- they're like normal maps but with a more believable depth feel to them
ben cloward has some info on them and how to create them on his site
if you want to have more than one smoothing group on a normal mapped model you should- as long as you bake it with the smoothing groups and the smoothing groups are basically UV islands then it should be fine most of the time
watch a bit of this:
watch it all- excellent tutorial

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read 1233 times
6/24/2011 11:40:13 PM (last edit: 6/24/2011 11:40:13 PM)
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