1. #1
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    Default ZMAPPER Fixing normal map seams TUTORIAL

    I Created this tutorial for all the Nerds like me out there who detest painting out normal map seams. at work we recently worked on about 30 game characters
    with 4 uv sets apiece and break points along the model to boot. Hence this tutorial. This method is using just ZB and CS3 (maya for viewing). Since we will be using
    a model with more than one uv set, we are able to use polygroups to seperate out those sets so bring our poly count higher,but we get seams up the wazzoo.
    Our parts the head and torso will be generated seperatly
    then we will work from our solid design sculpt
    In this technique we will be faking out ZB by moving the seam so to speak, by projecting a solid chunk of geo. before you start make sure that the
    borders of your uvs where the seams will appear dont overlap when you move both of them together into 0-1 uv space.
    Hope this helpsNMS_page1.jpg NMS_page2.jpg NMS_page3.jpg NMS_page4.jpg NMS_page5.jpg NMS_page6.jpg NMS_page7.jpg NMS_page8.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by monkeymuscle; 02-28-08 at 02:37 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    This looks pretty cool....
    will certainly try it...
    Thanks for sharing...

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    Default

    Very informative - thanks for sharing.

    However, I would recommend using Xnormal to save you all that work.

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    Default

    It would worry me if the layed out UVs and normals were that close to the border edges in Maya.


  5. #5

    Default

    I usually don't get any seams if I crank up the seam overpaint option. I tested it out to double check. I did a quick auv tiles on my model, and normal mapped it. Technically it should have a bunch of seams, but although it's a rough normal map it has none.

    When I do get seams, I go into the expert pass tab and crank all the top sliders to the right. This almost always gets rid of the seams. Now I'm not sure if this is only for mental ray, maybe it's different for real time and game engines. I apologize if that's the case.

    testnoseams.jpg
    ZTexture01.jpg

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    Default skinning cats

    yes things like xnormal, crazybump, maya, ect are all great tools i use them all. but since its a zbrush forum thought id post a zmapper solution to seams if nothing else works. its only one method. if it helps great. if you have a method please share it here there is more than one way to skin a cat! please keep it in zmapper though. keep in mind this is not a uv packing, sculpting, or even a normal mapping tutorial. just one way to get rid of a nagging seam.

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    when I come to this problem, its not an issue with having enough border over paint, it has to do with the way zmapper doesnt take into account that the UV space is not the geometry, that its just UVs relative to geometry. I’m pretty sure that this is how zmapper makes normal maps faster, but since seams are introduced because it doesn’t take into account that these UV seems are neighbors and are an extension of one another. Can Pixo fix this and offer the slower solution in zmapper for those of us who want seamless uv’s. or make it a button that’s clearly visible and you just click and then it uses the better slower method for solving the normal map? Can this update be released soon so as not to wait 2 years?

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    Hot dawg!!! nice one Monkeymuscle!. Very thorough. Definitely will be using it myself.

    Also, Loooove that pompadour hair!!!!

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    Thanks for posting this Mark - you really kicked ass getting the Normal Map issues in pocket.

    I would also reccomend to the person using seam overpaint - make sure you check your seams in Maya - the ZMapper view dosen't always tell the truth

    Rock on Monkeymuscle : P

    S

  10. #10

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    I would also reccomend to the person using seam overpaint - make sure you check your seams in Maya - the ZMapper view dosen't always tell the truth
    I used mental ray to render that image, and generated the maps with zmapper.

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    Fantastic post, thank you for sharing your method
    Chad Fox | Modeler | Visual Effects artist | Modeling Instructor

    LongLiveThePixel
    www.chadleefox.com

    wip: Bull Study

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    Default ZMAPPER Fixing normal map seams TUTORIAL

    awsome....very informative !!!

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    nice....
    this would also benefit workflows where meshes need to be "cut" for high rez detailing.

    Also I would add, projected normal maps are great for base/rig meshes which are far lower in resolution than the detailed subd level.

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    Default siegel

    Siegel,

    I tried your solution every way I could imagine. Are you supposed to do a split edge loop? Do I select the UVs in the UV Editor and go to Polygons>Split UVs? Those and a Bevel on the geometry were tried, but nothing came of it.

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