The New Normal


Been a couple of weeks since my last post, and all I really have to show for my absence is more of this darn pillar. I have since learned a bit about using a high-poly model from Maya and a program called xNormal to generate a normal map, which when applied to a low-poly model in Maya, gives the illusion of high definition. Pretty cool if you ask me!

If you look there near the base, you’ll probably notice something funky going on. It looks like a piece of the pillar has peeled up and lifted away from the rock beneath it. It hasn’t really; it’s built into the texture map and only appears that way from this angle. If you study the normal map below, you can see exactly where that deformity occurred (4 times) on the big U-shaped piece near the center of the map. I’m not sure what went wrong or how I should fix it.

Below is the diffuse map that covers the surface of my low-poly pillar seen above. This map was generated in xNormal with a rock texture added in Photoshop. I have also applied a cavity map to deepen the shadows and an “AO” (ambient occlusion) map to soften the lighting.


Suppose I should also mention that I learned to create a better UV map in 3DCoat. This was far quicker and cleaner than shaping the UVs all by hand in Maya. I didn’t share that first one here because it was awful… it was also 4 separate maps applied to 4 separate objects! Not exactly my best work.

Below is a screencap of the pillar after unwrapping its UVs in 3DCoat. The UV map still isn’t perfect, but it’s definitely an improvement over its previous form.


And finally, here’s a screencap of the pillar in Unity.