In the run up to DW4 I thought i'd get to grips with some normal mapping tools
I'm pretty new to normal mapping and discovered the joys of ZMapper not so long ago and thought it was pretty good, and very fast. Then I was told about the wonders of xNormal and that its give a more professional finish. So I decided to test them out against each other and maybe learn something on the way. This might seem very pointless to more advanced users but I thought I'd do it anyway. Maybe someone will find it useful.
Bare in mind I'm a novice at normal mapping.
In ZMapper I used the Maya_TangentSpaceNode_BestQuality.zmp configuration everything else was default.
In xNormals setting were default.
Both producing 2K maps
Normals Close up comparison
Models in maya with simple lambert and normal map.
(xnormal left, zmapper right)
front (xnormal on right with occlusion map created in xnormal)
xNormal lowpoly mesh with normals and occlusion
Well I think i'll be using xNormal from now on.
Very little difference in the normal map comparison TBH. The normal map from xNormal seems a bit smoother and has less of a pixellated egde in the close up. Most of the pixellation is due to the sculpts sub division level though.
The normal map also appears to have the normals reversed on one side of the zmapper model in the maya models. I think this is due to the way the UV are liad out and there orientation. (This is probably fixable but using the default setting this is what I got.)
Also. Having the extra baking options in xNormal is fantastic.
I'll be going baking crazy this DW so lets get the oven gloves out!
Anyway. There you are.
If anyone has advice, comments or links to good tutorials, etc...bring it on