Normal Map usage in XSI



Some questions that need answers:

  1. What is the best setup to create a normal map in Zbrush for XSI? There are configs for Maya and Max but no XSI.
  2. When generated, how do I plug it into render tree? I watched Tut DVD that came with XSI and it goes through some vectors and crap. When I read the docs it says sth different. The result is very poor all the way.
  3. Ultimapper doesn’t seem to help cause it seems it only generates the N. map.

Help appreciated, please.


[size=2]click create preview in ultimapper and it will set up the shaders for you.
if you select mentalray in the display dropdown menu it will set up the shaders for rendering and not realtime, which is what you need.


Plug the normal map texture in a XSINormalMap shader (found under the Bump group of shaders).



thank you guys. :slight_smile:


You can also open up your netview and go to Addons and choose either directx or opengl realtime shader suites. There are a bunch of presets already done for you that you can just drag and drop onto your object. From there you can just replace the default textures that the preset supplies with your own normal and diffuse color maps, spec etc. Experiment to learn more about how they work as there’s lots there to play with.

Switch your camera view to one of the realtime draw modes that matches your shaders (directX or openGL) and you should be good to go. Try moving the scene light around to see the effects of the normal map. You might have to disable the headlight in your camera properties if the light doesn’t update when you move or change it in your scene. Thanks to my buddy chris for figuring that headlight thing out. =]


I think the question number 1 is high on the wishlist no? For me too
But if youre talking about Z - mapper in Zbrush I have yet not seen any specific setting for XSI, You could go for standard Z- mapper settings with following in mind:

Tangent normal map for animated objects(obj that deforms and change shape) and object space normal map for static scene objects.

Be sure to assign the right texture cord(for ex explicit UVVs). in the normal map node. Sometimes the normalmap effect doesent show in the render up until I do that.

In my experiences these problems uccourrs: Dont use normalmap with to much geometrychanges. Its more like an advanced bumpmap. Especially polygons that crosses each other is no good. And pinching in Z - brush wont work, just standard draw mode push in and out of polygons.
You could combine a displacement map with low subdivision level and use a normal map for details, instead of just using displacements and waiting forever to render.
But if youre going for games that might not be such a good idea…

Anyway hope someone more experienced in this matter will jump in…


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