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Normal map in Lightwave showing ugly UV seams

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Not sure what's going wrong here, googling seems to indicate the orientation of the UV map islands could be a problem but I haven't found a real solution yet. Here's my model in the UV room:

 

post-26986-0-80162400-1456661309_thumb.p

 

And this is how it looks in the paint room right before I export to Lightwave:

 

post-26986-0-55055300-1456661304_thumb.p

 

Now, in Lightwave Layout, the seams of the UV islands are showing in a most ugly fashion:

 

post-26986-0-05895000-1456661309_thumb.p

 

If I disable the Node Editor, where the normal map is applied: the seams go away (but so does the normals displacement):

 

post-26986-0-56207600-1456661307_thumb.p

 

If I apply the normal map from 3DC as a bump map instead of using the normals node it works, but I have to kick the bump map displacement strength up to over 900% to get the desired depth:

 

post-26986-0-03887100-1456661306_thumb.p

 

Can anyone point me in the right direction to get the normals map seams smoothed out? Many thanks in advance!

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Preferences Tool Panel. Check which "Normal Map Software Preset" you are using. The drop down arrow has several presets to choose from. Shown in attached image.

 

I am not sure which one works for Lightwave. It might be the 3DMax one. You will have to test. 

Also you can create your own. I would google about Lightwave's normals maps and glean what information you can find there. 

3DC uses 4 parameters for creating normal maps. 

 

I generally switch to the preset I desire to work with before baking the normal map. You can switch on the fly and 3DC will recalculate the normal map without rebaking.

 

I know you are an experienced Lightwave user but I found this video and he shows a correctly rendered normal map to Lightwave from 3DC.

Just for your information he also shows how to export just single textures out of 3DC too. Maybe something in here will help for your normal map problem but did not see where or if he mentions the normal map software presets... Also saw that Lightwave gives you the ability to separately invert the xyz of the normal map if needed.

 

post-518-0-20360900-1456679414_thumb.jpg

Edited by digman
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Thank you, guys! As ever, you're extremely helpful.

 

I found my particular problem this morning, and it was a bone-headed move on my part. I've only recently started to add normal maps to my workflow thanks to 3D Coat; my typical approach is to use alphas in LW's node editor and build my own shaders but I've been wanting to leverage how 3D Coat assets are created natively. In this case the problem is the normal map's color space isn't set to linear when 3D Coat saves it. Lightwave needs that. I just change the color space for each nmap in the image editor that's part of LW's nodal interface and bazinga: seams gone.

 

Thanks again!

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