WIP: Sci-Fi soldier/normalmap

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  10 October 2005
WIP: Sci-Fi soldier/normalmap

This is my first attempt at creating normalmaps. I could use some help (or.. extremely much, more likely) which is the best? Creating the lowpoly first, UVmappping it, then making the highpoly, or doing the highpoly, UVmapping it, and then making it a lowpoly? :-/ I'm not sure what to do. Right now I have a lowpoly version, and I'm working on a highpolyversion.

The lowpoly is about 2000 tris. Should I make it more, to accentuate some of the detail? What is the most iportant thing when nromalmapping? What resolution should you have for the normalmap, the same as the colur/bump map etc?

Anyway, here's the highpoly and the lowpoly for you. Cheers! / Tor
Attached Images
File Type: jpg highkomp.jpg (42.2 KB, 194 views)
File Type: jpg lowcomp.jpg (37.7 KB, 133 views)
  10 October 2005
Hey askguden, for a first attempt at this it is definately a positive start. The armor seems a bit blocky but that may depend on the style you're going for. As for as the workflow for normal mapping it differs person to person and case by case. The only way to find which way suits you best is just by doing it.

for me personally, with a character like this, I would do the high poly first. You can pay no attention to the mesh as far as how it will deform and there is also no reason to uvmap the high, it is there strictly for surface detail. once that is complete, build the low poly using the high one as a 3D profile sheet. Now that is the one that needs to deform and also envelop all the major curvature geometry from the high - things that need a silhouette at any given angle, cause those are parts that cant be defined by a normal map.

Resolution for the normal map is based entirely on your target engine/platform. Just keep in mind normal maps are textures that you don't want to compress. hope that helps.
  10 October 2005
Never ever UV map the hi-res object it will take forEVER and you need to UV map the low poly model anyways, because those are the coordinates the normal map uses to align the pixels on the faces.

It can be very helpful to do a 2d concept of some sort before diving into a 3d model; your model looks mostly like a bunch of cubes with beveled edges and hastily placed indents and bevels from zbrush. More planning ahead of time can only help!
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  10 October 2005
*hmmm* Did I understand this correctly? The highpoly does not need an UVmap, whatsoever? That would make things easier, yes.

AS for the design, most of the "extruded cubes" are more or less that, but it was designed that way. This is a quick character I made to try normalmapping with, so I figured out a character where I can justify all these simply extrudes and stuff It's made for an introductory course in 3D, and I've only been workihng on it for two days, so. Thasnk for the tips! :-D
  10 October 2005
I think that the model looks good for now. Some minor things though, first of all the front and top of the boots look kinda blan, I would add some detail there. another place that I would put detail is on the back of the collar and the lower back. It doen't matter about the poly count so go crazy. Also seems around the shin area seems alittle to thick to me, but it could just be your style and the back of the calf area I would aslo add some detail to that. but keep at it, it is a good model. As for the low poly version the only thing that i see is that the edges (around the shin guard and boots, ect...) should be hard edges that is giving your model those darker/lighter grey areas.
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Last edited by Meephunter : 10 October 2005 at 01:08 AM.
  10 October 2005
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