Normal Mapping Querie

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  03 March 2007
Normal Mapping Querie

was just wondering about the process of normal mapping in mudbox. My main question is when you have your low res model and you want to add things on to the high res model like the gears of war character below, what process do you take? ; Model low res model, then texture and make uvs and then make high poly model in 3d max and mudbox ? ( but then the uvs would change to texture in photoshop ?) just wondering if anybody can explain the process needed to produce a model with textures like the one below.

  03 March 2007

Looking at the way the mesh is built, I am pretty sure that most of the hard surface detail wasn't done in Mudbox or Zbrush.

If you take a look at the organic parts of that model (Head / Arms / neck) you'll find yourself unable to see any wire at all. I'm sure these areas were sculpted in either Mudbox or ZBrush, after importing a simple basemesh.

If you now look at the armor and accesoires, I could imagine that these parts, weren't sculpted but polymodeled in XSI, Maya, Max, whatever. And shown with a subdivided wireframe in that screengrab you posted. What makes me think this as well, is that it's much more practical to do the hard surface modeling outside MB/ZB.

I guess this is the way they have built this model, or atleast how I would have approached it, and that the lowres mesh was built afterwards.

Last edited by JBoskma : 03 March 2007 at 07:36 AM.
  03 March 2007
There's a gazillion ways to approach this problem. If I was using 3dsmax alone, I'd probably make a highpoly model and texture it, then a lowpoly version (uvw mapped) and use the projection features in max. That way I can generate normal mapping and color maps for the lowpoly model using all the information from the highpoly model. I've tried this approach a couple of times and it works fairly well. Regarding projections, you can find a tutorial in the max help files.

With Mudbox I'd probably create the lowpoly model in max, meshsmooth it with one or two iterations to get sharp edges where they count etc. using weights and whatnot and to convert tris to quads (if there were any). Then export the smoothed model into Mudbox and do whatever needs to be done and export the normal mapping. From what I've experimented, this should work too After that it is possible to bake textures with GI in max using displacement mapping etc. Experimenting and combining old tricks with new is the key
Paradise is nice, but Hell is swell.
  03 March 2007
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