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.
UVing complete. Headus to start then rearrangement and distortion correction in Maya LT.
Next up… Zbrush.
But, right now… sleep.
With the initial UV layout complete, it’s time to take a break, get some dinner, and spend time with the family.
P.S. – yes I know it needs cleanup and optimizing. 🙂
Here is a character update for the WIP on Prisoner Character 2. Basically went back to the drawing board with him as you can see from the earlier one if you scroll down here in the blog and see the previous iteration.
Also added a prisoner collar as well.
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.
Got some more work done on the entire body. Even with detailed references, I’m still struggling with getting the knees correct. Guess this is what i deserve for abandoning my anatomy studies. I’m also struggling with the balance of proportions and what I have for healthy references and unhealthy references.