Projecting high to low bump maps

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  09 September 2013
Projecting high to low bump maps

So this is a question to the experts, so I'm trying to figure out the best method of getting the best normal maps from a high poly to a low. here are the methods I know, and issues I had with them. Just tell me which way you guys think I can get the best quality or you guys think is the fastest?

1. zbrush projection method: Projecting details from the high poly to the low in zbrush. This includes subdividing the low and projecting in details from the high. Then bringing the low to the lowest subdivision level and creating a bump map.a. the problem I find with this is that reprojecting is time consuming since you have to weak the mesh so its geometry flows well as its being projected. Also when zbrush makes a bump map, certain edges get smoothed out

2. xnormal: this includes projecting details in zbrush as explained above, then getting the bump from the high to the low using Xnormalsa. I find that xnormals does hard edges allot better and creates really sharp edges when needed.

3. crazy bump: getting the bump map from the diffuse using crazy bump, you can upload a low poly mesh as an OBJ in to crazy bump and adjust it in real time in crazy bump.a. unfortunately the preview is not very accurate to how the bump maps show up in a game engine or modeling program.

4. render to texture: taking the high poly and decimating it then exporting it to a 3ds max, then using render to texture to get the detail from the high poly to the low.a. This way I get fairly good details on the large aspects but a lot of the small details won't show up since the decimated version won't keep them, and this method gives me some really bad seams on the model.

So what do you guys think is best from my list, and does anyone else have a method of doing this?
  09 September 2013
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