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A qustion about level of detail in a model
Posted: 29 September 2012 01:22 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I am a new modeller, however I use blender to model my work, but feel my qustion is best answered here.

None of my current purchased model props use normal maps, is there any reason for this?

The image attached is a low poly model of a fire hydrant and sidewalk within daz studio with some lighting effects.

It seems to my untrained eye that you would not use the high poly version of this model within daz as it shows at around 8,596 tris.

Within the high poly version I used sub-surface which accounts for the large number of tris, I think this would be the same as using smoothing value of around two in hexagon.

What level of detail should I be working towards for use within daz studio?

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Posted: 29 September 2012 03:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Not too sure how this relates to Hexagon?

When I do organic modelling for animation, I normally smooth to level two.  The bulldog I did in another thread here is 18K quads.  V4 is around 85K, which Studio doesn’t have a problem with.

Geometric models, such as your fire hydrant, shouldn’t need more than one level of smoothing, but that is up to the maker.

I’d say it is up to the vendor whether or not they include normal maps with their product - not sure whether Studio uses normal maps.

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Posted: 29 September 2012 05:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Yes Daz Studio can use Normal maps.

I often see this disscusion about normal maps and they always seem to be a common concensus that normal maps are good for games or animation but when it comes to quality rendering Bump and Displacement maps are far better at giving better results.

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Posted: 29 September 2012 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Szark - 29 September 2012 05:09 AM

Yes Daz Studio can use Normal maps.

I often see this disscusion about normal maps and they always seem to be a common concensus that normal maps are good for games or animation but when it comes to quality rendering Bump and Displacement maps are far better at giving better results.

Thankyou for the reply, to me it seems the level of detail used is a midway between high poly and low poly with the use of bump and displacement maps.

Both the props shown are for use within Unity 3D hence my use of the normal map.

So if I were to increase my current level of detail and use bump and displacement maps would this then be the correct approach?

I could also inclued the normal map within the texture map images, however you would not assign this map within daz studio.

The product would then be marketed for use in unity, altough I do not think daz studio allows the use of the model mesh?

ASFAIK you are only allowed to use the rendered images.

 

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Posted: 29 September 2012 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Normal maps are specifically for giving detail to low-poly meshes - think of them as super-bump which reflects light in 3D as opposed to bump maps which only reflect in 2D.  The original application was to use a method of transferring the surface detail from a very high poly mesh to a low poly copy.  This method gives a lot more detail than a bump map can.

Then came methods of converting 2D images to normal maps - results can be pretty iffy and on the whole I agree with Szark that in general you can get better results using bump maps - it really depends on how well the 2D image is converted.

Displacement needs a pretty dense mesh to get good results and it does that by adding even more actual mesh, so no good if you are using the actual mesh in a game.  If you are only using rendered images, then a good displacement map would give you the best results.  From what I have read, but never tried, is that Daz Studio gives very good results using displacement - I’ve never had a decent result in Carrara.

Something that I never see written about in the forum is Hex’s ability to export a bump map of a high poly model for use on the low poly original.  These can be used as displacement maps or converted to normal maps.

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Posted: 29 September 2012 03:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Roygee - 29 September 2012 03:01 PM

.  From what I have read, but never tried, is that Daz Studio gives very good results using displacement - I’ve never had a decent result in Carrara.
.

Yeah the 3delight render engne is good at transforming a mesh into a higher resolution mesh at render time making good use of displacement maps but as far as I am aware Carrara doesn’t. So in Carrara the mesh needs to be a high resolution to effectively use displacement maps. I think I heard on the Carrara grape vine that this was to change in Carrara.

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Posted: 29 September 2012 04:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Roygee - 29 September 2012 03:01 PM

Normal maps are specifically for giving detail to low-poly meshes - think of them as super-bump which reflects light in 3D as opposed to bump maps which only reflect in 2D.  The original application was to use a method of transferring the surface detail from a very high poly mesh to a low poly copy.  This method gives a lot more detail than a bump map can.

Then came methods of converting 2D images to normal maps - results can be pretty iffy and on the whole I agree with Szark that in general you can get better results using bump maps - it really depends on how well the 2D image is converted.

Displacement needs a pretty dense mesh to get good results and it does that by adding even more actual mesh, so no good if you are using the actual mesh in a game.  If you are only using rendered images, then a good displacement map would give you the best results.  From what I have read, but never tried, is that Daz Studio gives very good results using displacement - I’ve never had a decent result in Carrara.

Something that I never see written about in the forum is Hex’s ability to export a bump map of a high poly model for use on the low poly original.  These can be used as displacement maps or converted to normal maps.

I use Bitmap2Material from Allegorithmic http://www.allegorithmic.com/ but would be intrested in learning more on Hex’s ability to export a bump map of a high poly model for use on the low poly original.  These can be used as displacement maps or converted to normal maps.

Thankyou all for your time and help

 

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Posted: 30 September 2012 01:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Here’s a quick and nasty example to illustrate the steps - hopefully the pics are in the right order:)

1.  Put in a cube and tessellate three times to give it some polys to work on.  UV map it - very important - so that none of the faces are overlapping.

2.  Took it up to level 2 smoothing, with DG active and gave it a good going-over with the displacement tool to get it really roughed up.

3.  Exported the bump map

4.  Dropped the smoothing to 0 and collapsed DG.  Exported as .obj.

5.  The bumpmap it generates, with contrast and brightness enhanced in Gimp to over-exaggerate it for demo purposes.

6.  The render in Carrara - the same cube, one with bump applied - both have 96 polys.

The bump map can be used in the displacement channel or converted to a normal map.

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Posted: 30 September 2012 03:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Roygee - 30 September 2012 01:05 AM

...The bump map can be used in the displacement channel or converted to a normal map.

Converting a bump map to a normal map doesn’t make sense to me. What purpose does it serve to convert a 2d map to a 3d map with no additional 3d dimension data (since the ‘bump map’ only has a 2d dataset.) It would seem that it only makes sense to use a normal map that was created from the original high detail 3d object.

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Posted: 30 September 2012 03:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Exactly what we were saying above

Converting to normal map, you can get some extra artificial detail.  I’m thinking here of a brick wall.  With a bump map, you get good detail on the face, but the corners show a sharp edge.  With it converted to normal, you can get the effect of the bricks at the corner appear to be separated by mortar - not much of a difference, but maybe enough to be more believable.

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Posted: 05 October 2012 03:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Roygee - 30 September 2012 01:05 AM

Here’s a quick and nasty example to illustrate the steps - hopefully the pics are in the right order:)

1.  Put in a cube and tessellate three times to give it some polys to work on.  UV map it - very important - so that none of the faces are overlapping.

2.  Took it up to level 2 smoothing, with DG active and gave it a good going-over with the displacement tool to get it really roughed up.

3.  Exported the bump map

4.  Dropped the smoothing to 0 and collapsed DG.  Exported as .obj.

5.  The bumpmap it generates, with contrast and brightness enhanced in Gimp to over-exaggerate it for demo purposes.

6.  The render in Carrara - the same cube, one with bump applied - both have 96 polys.

The bump map can be used in the displacement channel or converted to a normal map.

Hi Roygee, how do you export the bump map? I can’t see an option under file export…sorry just found it on the uv and paint tab.

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Posted: 05 October 2012 11:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Hi Pendraia

This I’ve only mentioned as a curiosity - it really isn’t much good and I’ve never found a useful application for it.  Blender does this function far better and if you can understand the highly technical UI and poorly translated Spanish instructions, X-Normal is really good.smile

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Posted: 06 October 2012 01:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Roygee - 05 October 2012 11:19 PM

Hi Pendraia

This I’ve only mentioned as a curiosity - it really isn’t much good and I’ve never found a useful application for it.  Blender does this function far better and if you can understand the highly technical UI and poorly translated Spanish instructions, X-Normal is really good.smile

Thanks Roygee…I have never been able to fathom out the UI on Blender. It makes my head hurt to look at it…


I do have zbrush which you can do really good displacement maps with(at least thats what I’ve been told. I’m still working on learning how to use it. I was just really suprised as I hadn’t noticed it in Hexagon before…

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Posted: 06 October 2012 01:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Thank you for your time and tutorial on hex`s abilities.

To be honest I found x-normal to hard to follow :(

I will stick to my choice of B2m as it can quickly generate all the maps I need.

I am currently working on the custom chopper and the modelling is complete, image attached.

I find myself somewhat back at the start this model would be the high poly version, verts 159856, faces 157064.

I have tested the model as is without textures in daz with no issues loading the model.

If I wish to sell this model what level of detail should the finished model be?

Are there any guidlines on levels of detail for submission as a new vendor?

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Posted: 06 October 2012 01:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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If you have Z-Brush, that is all you need - wish I could afford it:)

Blender - well…yeah.  Whenever I’m feeling brave I dust it off and have a go.  Slowly getting to grips with it - I can at least now do a reasonable retopo.

What is this B2M of which you speak?  Googled it and got nothing that had any connection to CG.

Hopefully one of the PA’s will help you out as to requirements for selling through Daz.  May be better to ask Daz directly for guidance.

BTW, I’ve just come across a tute at CGTextures on making normal maps from 2d images that proves a well-made normal map can be very effective.

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Posted: 06 October 2012 02:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Roygee - 06 October 2012 01:54 AM

If you have Z-Brush, that is all you need - wish I could afford it:)

I bought it through DAZ for about $150 or I would never have been able to afford it either ; ) I think it was either the same year or the year after they had hex for $6. I’ve had it for a while now. I just wish I had time to sit and learn all the programs I have properly…I’m hanging out until I can retire and play all day with them.

Roygee - 06 October 2012 01:54 AM

Blender - well…yeah.  Whenever I’m feeling brave I dust it off and have a go.  Slowly getting to grips with it - I can at least now do a reasonable retopo.

You’re braver than I am then and probably a lot smarter…; )

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