ZBrush/3Ds Max/UDK normal

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  09 September 2013
ZBrush/3Ds Max/UDK normal

hey guys, i could really use your help with a problem i just encountered, because i can't find anything helpful googling so far.

I wanted to create a kris (kind of dagger) to use in UDK. so i created base mesh, made UV coordinates for it and imported it into zbrush. i subdivided it several times without smoothing to retain the general shape, and then subdivided it some more with smoothing. then i started sculpting detail onto it (the dagger is supposed to be very decorative). Then i baked normal maps in zbrush. i exported them and apllied them to my low poly inside 3ds max. im rendering in viewport with directx and the models have 3point shader applied. But a problem appeared. from what i understand, zbrush doesn't have smoothing groups. so the normal map it creates is supposed to work with faceted model. but using faceted meshes ingame is an absurd because of the skyrocketing vert count. so i tried applying smoothing groups, here are the results:

#1. hard edges are uv seams
#2. no smoothing groups at all. just like in zbrush
#3. one smoothing group for all polygons

here is normal map im using

and here is my hipoly in zbrush

So, i understand that the problem with distorted edges of the blade is probably caused by not matching low poly to high poly, and may be solved by tweaking them.

But, i have no idea how to change normal map that was baked for faceted model so it will work with mesh that has smoothing groups.

I really hope that you guys can help me

Last edited by Arcymaszon : 09 September 2013 at 10:46 AM.
  09 September 2013
if someone could help me with this problem, or link me some tutorials explaining the workflow i'd be really gratefull
  09 September 2013
Your images aren't showing for me, making it hard to tell what's going on.

Generally speaking though, ZBrush isn't great at extracting normal maps. xNormal is free, and will give you much better results.
  09 September 2013
reupped the images, you should be able to see them now.

the problem is that my tool in zbrush has about 10 million polygons, so i can't really export it into .obj because it's too complicated. is there any way to go around this problem? i was thinking about converting normal map into object-space normal map, because smoothing groups don't matter when using it
  09 September 2013
You can run decimation master to get the mesh density down, but xNormal has no problem dealing with multi-million poly objs.
  09 September 2013
when i try to export it as .obj my zbrush crashes. the tool has ~10 mil polygons and my machine has 4gb ram and i5 760 cpu, so is it possible that my computer is not powerfull enough for the task? can xnormal work with zbrush' .ztl?
  09 September 2013
Are you sure it actually crashes? ZBrush will often freeze up for a while, but finish its task eventually if you let it. In any case, you can use decimation master, or just export one subdivision level down (you're not going to be able to see all the details of a 10m poly model in the normal map anyways).
  09 September 2013
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