need help with normal seams

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  11 November 2013
need help with normal seams

Hi there,
I am facing the problem (common I guess) with visible seams when using normal maps. I use 3ds max 2014 with V-ray and Mudox 2014. I'm trying to model a game character First I prepare a low poly model in 3ds max, then I unwrap uvw with Unwrap UVW modifier. After that I export it to Mudbox, subdivide the model, sculpt etc., extract a normal map. I use the normal map in 3ds max and here the problem occurs. I've got a visible seams on model. I've read hundreds of posts on every existing forums in the world, watched every tutorial dealing with unwraping, shading, normal maps, baking, mudox to 3ds max compatibility. I know the problem is really common and many people stuck on this issue. I tried every advice I could. After all I've tried to test it ONLY in 3ds max. I got a lowpoly model in 3ds max file which I unwraped. On this model I put standart material with normal bum map which refers to a .tga (normal map - plain with no modeling, just color). I tried to render it with default scanline renderer and vray also. Nothing changes...
I tried:
- Fliping Green channel
- Fliping Red channel
- Use world, tangent, local XYZ methods...
- whole model is one smooting group
- Make hard egdes
- make soft edges
- put Edit normal modifier and make sure that all vertex are specified
- rotating uvw elements on a uvw map (this helped a bit, but just a bit)
- using diferent normal map types
- I made sure that all vertex are welded
- I don't know what else but it was two days fighting

I read some stuff about fliping the uvws elements in Maya but I can't see the possibility to do it in Max. (one more, when I extracted normal map in Mudbox, I set a lowest subdivision level and there, everything looked perfect the problem apears only in Max. )

normal map ( I used .tga .jpeg .bmp .tiff and others)
model with seams
UVw map
model after rotating uvws elements
rotated uvws elements
material settings

I assume that problem is in UVW map. When I was changing the smoothing groups I saw effects but it was like a layer on these seams. Just other seams appeard. I'm out of ideas... I really don't know why this is happening, how to avoid it. I'd really appriciate if anybody could help me...
 
  11 November 2013
Well for one thing the normal map is empty and serves no purpose...?

The problem could be a synching issue. Bake your map in 3d max, using only 1 smoothing group and preview with a real time shader. Don't use a renderer like v-ray to preview normal maps.

Use this shader:
http://www.3pointstudios.com/3pointshader_lite.shtml
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  11 November 2013
Now that looks very weird, normal-blue map should give (almost) the same result as no normalmap at all, no matter how the uv's are oriented. I suspect that this might be due to Gamma correction of the normalmaps, check that Enable Gamma/LUT Correction is turned off in the preferences. (It's on as default)
 
  11 November 2013
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