Starting to work on helmets using my nailed down pipeline.

Thinking about 3 levels of helmets. Each helmet, like the amount of armor that each guard is wearing, will determine the higher the rank of the guard.

This is where I’m at after about an hour of sculpting. Thinking right now of maybe another hour of cleaning and hard edge working and it is ready for retopo.


The Pipeline

Finally have determined the asset development process I will be using going forward:

– Make starting shape in Maya (or Max)
– GoZ & Dynamesh the shape and details.
– Retopologize Hi Resolution Mesh to create Lo Resolution Mesh in Topogun.
– Decimate HP from Zbrush to create Cage if need be for xNormal.
– Unwrap. Use Headus UV Layout for heads, for all else use Maya to unwrap.
– Set Smoothing Groups. Create cages.
– Export LP, Cage, and Quixel ID Material Map from Maya
– Export HP from Zbrush
– Bake all maps in xNormal. NM, CV, AO, and Height Map.
– Import LP into Quixel, using ID Material Map and other maps.
– Generate Materials for each object and export from Quixel.
– Combine and reassemble maps as needed.
– Create any additional details to maps in Photoshop.
– Test in Unity or UE4.

Time to get busy 🙂

Latest Update…

Getting pretty close to being done with the material.

Base material created in dDo2 and then detail painting then dodge and burn done in Photoshop.

Keep in mind, that this is the most important map to getting everything ready for the demo, aside from the weapon’s and accessories map. As other prisoners and guards will be using varying levels of items from this map and its subsequent variants.


Okay, so that was a little less painful that time. No weird UV distortion. No artifacts sitting in the middle of a projection. Just like it should be. Good thing xNormal is free, cause they could make a killing if they charged for the program.

Now, on to the cavity map debate Zbrush vs xNormal. This time it is absolutely a HUGE difference between the two maps being created in each program. Zbrush Cavity being the 2nd map and xNormal’s Cavity Map being the 3rd map.

Simply put, it’s night and day.

Where to now? …you might say.

Well, now that we have the distortion issue resolved; its time to get the rest of the maps generated in xNormal, then over to Quixel to complete the Materials.

Till next time!

Where are the Updates?

That is an excellent question and I have a very easy answer…

Zbrush Normal Map Generation Sucks!

I have literally been fighting how it generates Normal Maps for the last 2-3 weeks. So, I finally gave up and went to the all and powerful Google to get some answers. Turns out that most people agree with me and their answer is to use xNormal. Okay… sure. Another application to add to the pipeline. Why not?

Therefore, I went to see what they would look like with a quick test. Needless to say, not only was the map generation faster, but it was much more accurate with none of the “bad things” that were happening in Zbrush.

The only problem I’m having now, is when I import multiple objects for batch processing, xNormal isn’t analyzing individual objects its treating it like it is one object. So, there’s overlapping normals. For example, instead of the normal just showing the skirt, it is also showing the scabbard and the harness and buckle on top of the normal for the skirt. In other words, I’ll either have to use FBX as suggested on or I’ll have to do one by one and then piece them together in Photoshop. Needless to say, no fun to be had.

On top of that, I’m currently travelling to Philadelphia for the day job and my capability to work will be very limited, but I will still try to figure it out while in Philly.

I think that’s all for now.


Now that I’m starting to work on creating the Materials in Quixel’s dDO software, I’m finding some issues with the geometry and UV’s. You can see that the internal sleeves need more UV space for resolution and there’s some UV stretching on the ends. However, overall the look is exactly what I’m working towards. 🙂

Time for sleep.

Getting really close now to being done with the guard geometry and UV wise. Did another detail pass this time on the pants and shirt.

Thinking about helmet designs right now…  should be fun to be able to kick those out this weekend and then start with finalizing the textures/shaders next week.

That’s it for now.