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Samurai Jack

Normal Map Generation (melody, ati, 3dsmax)

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Greetings! I was wondering, is it possible to Take a High Poly Mesh and automaticaly turn it into low/mid poly with normal map? The recepie (source): 1. High poly model with textures/materials Result (destination): 1. Low 4000k or med 8000k polygon model 2. Normal map What kind of tools do I need for that? Is it possible to do it in 3dsmax, or does it take way too much time? Which kind of method to pick to get the best "automatic" result? I had written "automatic" because I am not able to re-create the lower polygon version of the model by myself. Are there better ways to do it as in 3dsmax? NVidia Melody or Ati normal mapper for example? How did they do it with doom3? Did they remodel each model twice? One high and one low poly version? Thank you in advance!

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They DO model each model twice,.. first the detailed highpoly model, and after that they model the lowpoly one over the highpoly, so the proportions will be exact.


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Guest Anonymous Poster
Does anyone know of a complete tutorial about how this works? I've always wondered :)

Thanks in advance

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This is probably the best normal mapping tutorial (for 3ds max 7) that I've found.

Professional studios do not use automatic functions to lower a model's polycount. They either make the low-poly first, duplicate it, and add detail to get a high-poly model; or they make the high-poly model first and then build the low-poly model around it.

The closest thing I can think of that comes to doing what you want, Jack, would be to use max's Optimize modifier to reduce the polycount and get max to UV Unwrap the model using it's automatic unwrapping functions. That will allow you to make a (messy and inefficient) normal map through automatic means. You will, however, still need to make a diffuse texture for the low-poly model and you'd have to make it overtop of the automatic UV coordinates which isn't going to be a pretty sight.

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