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 EAT3D.com 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.


Another series of screen captures depicting the next steps I took to get to a game-ready asset. 

Finished the asymmetry in Topogun. Then moved into Headus UVLayout. Kept having issues with the OSX version so switched over to parallels and got it working in there. Then saved it out of UVLayout and brought it into Maya LT for UV Layout and optimization. Still needs some work, but more worried about fleshing out the pipeline right now. 

Next steps will be to cleanup overlapping UV’s. Bring the model and finished UV’s back into Topogun for Map Generation. 

Time for some sleep. 

Here is a series of screenshots showing the progress of creating the game-ready geometry. 

The original Zbrush model was around 35 million polys. I used Reconstruct Subdivisions to get the polycount lower while maintaining the integrity of the sculpt and polypaint work. For those of you wondering, I tried the decimation master but Zbrush kept crashing on me. Plus I haven’t UV’ed yet so I was losing my Polypaint when it didn’t crash on me… right away. 

I then exported the mesh with polypaint out of Zbrush as an obj at around 2mil polys and brought it into Topogun. I then began the short process of retopologizing the mesh to game-ready geometry. Once the base mesh was completed I then exported as an Obj and brought it into Maya LT and finished off creating the mouth bag and the eyelids. 

Next step will be to reimport into Topogun, adjust for asymmetry and then export again and go into UVLayout to complete the UV. Then I will reimport into Topogun to generate the maps. 

Fun. Fun. Fun. 🙂

Till next time.  

Goal: Nordic/Germanic Human Character for Medieval/Dark Ages-based game.

Tools Used: Zbrush 4R5

Character Traits: Emaciated. Starved. Skinny. Unhealthy.

More reworking the shapes and messing around with spotlight in Zbrush. I’m pretty happy with how this is turning out, but you know how it goes being an artist. Gotta keep pushing it to the point where it goes too far and then just pull back enough to balance it just right. Ok. More work to do. 

Goal: Nordic/Germanic Human Character for Medieval/Dark Ages-based game.

Tools Used: Zbrush 4R5

Character Traits: Emaciated. Starved. Skinny. Unhealthy.

Started working on getting the face features down. The main idea here was to create a base character and then transform them into different ethnic groups. Wanted to hit the main groups that would have been on that side of the world at the time. African, Asian, Germanic/Nordic. This would obviously be the latter of the group.