View Full Version : Normal mapping question

07-22-2006, 05:43 AM
I have a general question about making normal maps, not sure if this should be posted in this section or not. I currently have a high poly character modeled in Maya with geometry in and around fingernails, mouth and eyelids As well as toes wich have slightly overlapping geometry. I plan to add detail to the high poly geometry in zbrush and then apply the normal map to a low poly game model which too has a little bit of overlapping geometry in some areas. My question is if it will be possible to apply the normal map onto the low poly without getting artifacts or issues in those overlapping areas? If so should I go and make adjustments like remove geometry from under fingernails in favor of ones which simply extrude out from the mesh?

Could I make a normal map from a high model with overlap and apply it to a low poly with no overlapping geometry and expect to see the details of the fingernail crease, for example, without getting weird bugs/?

Does the low poly uvmap define the normal lighting projection or does it simply work on the outside of the mesh and only what is visible?

07-31-2006, 03:20 PM
What program will you use to create the normal maps??

If you creating them in Zbrush with ZMapper then you will almost definetely get artifacts on your normal map where you have intersecting geometry. In this case you can take your normal map into Photoshop and work on the R, G and B channels with the smudge and clone tools to get rid of the artifacts (its a lot easier than I just made it sound) Ben mathis explains this really well on his website

If you import your high poly from Zbrush into your 3D app and bake the normals onto the low poly then you shouldnt have any problems with interecting geometry. I use Maya and baking normal maps using the surface sampler is much better at handling intersecting geometry

07-31-2006, 10:59 PM
I think you found the answer, make sure the lowpoly dosn't have those intersecting polygons make it all one mesh. Alchemist101 is right about zmapper, it dosn't like intersecting meshes and creates lots of errors. my bet would be to use maya surface sampler.

CGTalk Moderation
07-31-2006, 10:59 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.