ZMapper is the free Next-Gen Normal Mapping plug-in for ZBrush 2.0. Using ZBrushs revolutionary multiple levels of resolution and a new lighting-fast ray tracer, ZMapper generates unsurpassed normal maps in seconds that will work with any game engine need.
The built-in open GL viewer allows artists to see their normal maps in action directly on the model without leaving ZBrush. Artists can also view their wire frame, normals, tangents, and UV seams directly in the viewer allowing for fast troubleshooting.
Built into ZMapper is a simple to use interface that gives artists and programmers complete control over their normal maps. Every permutation of normal map generation is possible and easy to do with ZMapper's Expert Options. Artists can create tangent space maps, world space maps, flip their red channels, swap their red and green channels, and derive their tangents from their normal and binormals as well as a host of other options.
ZMapper also contains several options designed to take your normal maps to the next level and to help troubleshoot your game engine needs:
The Render Region Window allows you to render only small portions of the normal map at a time or to focus in on problem areas and adjust your settings for those areas only. It's even possible to use different calculation methods for different parts of the model!
The Snapshot options let you take snapshot images of your model within the viewer to compare results against. The snapshot function is a pivotal tool for allowing artists to test out their settings as well as export images directly out of the viewer.
Morph 3D Mesh will cycle between a stored morph target and the base shape allowing you to test deformations directly on your model within the plug-in.
Morph 2D Unwrap will unwrap your 3D model into your 2D UV's allowing you to troubleshoot your normal map settings at the UV boundaries and check your normal map as a 2D plane.
Inflation of High Resolution Mesh Details, giving artists the ability to add that extra little punch to their normal maps.
Store and Open Configurations, allowing artists to use the normal map presets which have been provided for Maya, XSI, 3D Studio Max, NVIDIA and more or create and save their own for easy use (and sharing) later.
ZMapper Revision D now contains a new Projection feature. This powerful Projection feature makes it possible to create a normal map by projecting one mesh's details onto another arbitrary mesh (with different topology)
Shane Caudle, Technical Art Director Epic Games says, "We here at Epic have found ZBrush to be an irreplaceable tool in our pipeline; we use it extensively for character and environment assets. With this new release of the ZMapper, plug-in even more aspects of our pipeline can be done inside ZBrush. Since we are doing next generation games, our models rely heavily on normal map detail to make our in game models look like their extremely detailed counterparts. ZMapper is an awesome tool for creating high quality normal maps in a fraction of the time that other programs we use would take."
The Pixologic Team :)