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How can I project a normal map from a high res to low res model?


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I am trying to discover if 3D-Coat is able to take a high res model with a normal map and project that normal map on to a low resolution retopologized model with completely different UVs. Can someone explain how I would going about doing that if it is possible in 3D-Coat?




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Okay, thanks


I discovered two workflows which I will post below for anyone who might benefit:



High definition meshes:

RMB>Add meshes and import your high resolution mesh.

RMB>Base texture to bake and import your base texture which, in this case, is your normal map. Check "Base texture Is a tangent-space normal map".


Low definition meshes:

RMB>Add meshes and import your low resolution mesh.


Baking options:

Output File: Specify a save location and the desired file type.

Maps to render: Uncheck all (including Normal map) and check Bake base texture.


LMB click Generate Maps button.



Import the high resolution mesh

Load the normal map for the high resolution mesh in the UV/Image Editor.

Import the low resolution mesh and in the UV/Image Editor, create a new image for the low res mesh (uncheck Alpha).

Go to Properties Editor>Render Panel>Bake>Bake Mode and set to Normals (Tangent Normal Space) and check Selected to Active.

In the Outliner select the High Res mesh and then Shift+select the Low Res mesh ( last selection is active selection).

Press Bake.

Save the Normal Map.

Edited by 3DNut
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If you have the high polygon model with with the same uv map as the low polygon one then choose the MV method for importing your low polygon model into the paint room. Next under the file menu, choose import/big mesh. It will project a displacement map of the high polygon mesh over the low polygon mesh in the paint room (thankx Digman)



The development of the tool


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Thanks for your information carlosan. Here is the workflow for anyone who may benefit along with a few additional questions.


Q. How do I project a normal map on a high resolution mesh onto a low res retopologized mesh with completely different UVs?


At the Splashscreen, select "Paint UV Mapped Mesh (Per-Pixel)"

Select the folder icon and choose your high resolution model.

In the "Import Object for Per Pixel Painting" dialogue, keep defaults except change Texture Width and Height and press Ok.

In the Paint Room go to Textures>Import>Color/albedo Map and choose your high res diffuse map.

Go to Textures>Import>Normal Map and choose your high res normal map. Press Ok.

Go to Textures>Texture Baking Tool and set the following:

Mesh to Bake to: Choose your low poly (retopologized) mesh.

Texture Width / Texture Height: Adust as desired.

Color Map: Specify output folder, filename and file type.

Tangent Space Normal Map: Specify output folder, filename and file type.

Press Ok.


Q. How do I get the Normal Map background to be RGB 128, 128, 255 or #8080ff when baking?



Q. Is there a way to specify the background color of the color map when baking?


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