Industry Standard requirements for Normal map texture:
- Support DirectX and OpenGL Normal map.
- Compatible with all game engine ( Unreal Engine 4 , CryEngine 5 , Unity 3D 5.5 , Stingray )
- Compatible with software editors like Substance painter, Substance Designer and more
- Support DirectX compression, Optimized for DXT5 and BC5 compression.
- The Normal map are computed from 16bits matcap data ,then are rendered with BPR and directly exported to RGB 8 bits PSD /TIFF file format, without extra edits to apply in Photoshop.
- No Banding Issue ( read more about Banding)
- Rendering time and quality of the anti-aliasing of BPR renderer.
In both articles I am trying to make relevant observations i am comparing the normal map i had baked using Substance Painter (native RGB16bits) with the normal map baked using ZGametools in PSD RGB 8bits file format and imported into Substance painter as texture resource.
- Comparison and observations with Substance Painter 2.4.1
- Comparison and observations with Marmot Toolbag 3.0
- Comparison and observations with Unreal Engine 4.14
- Comparison and observations with Unity 5.5
Note : Both articles linked above are constantly updated.
The stress test
What is my Objective ?
My objective to provide a normal mapping algorithm to use with ZGametools Texturer Plugin in Zbrush that is conform with all the industry requirement and who follow all conventions and all norms, and that could compete with other algorithm on the market.
Why do I based my comparison and observations, on substance painter normal map algorithm why not a different algorithm ?
To me the best and finest baking algorithm for normal mapping on the market, is the one built
by the Allegorithmic developers. The normal map you bake with Allegorithmic tools, are compatible with many game engine and editors.
What i am trying to reproduce with ZGametools is to provide at least, an equivalent of in terms of quality and compatibility,
than what Substance designer and substance painter would provide to you no matter which are the game engine or software editors
you would like to use with ZGametools normal mapping algorithm.
The Baking Setup
To make sure i based my research in the right direction, I setup a mesh and exported it to subtance Painter, to bake a clean normal maps.
|Substance painter normal map spec :
||ZGametools normal map specs :
Here is the hires model sculpted in Zbrush, then exported as Obj file to bake the normal map in Susbstance Painter 2.4.1.
This is the same model i use to bake directly in Zbrush.