Nathan Throckmorton (alshazar)

2 answers · asked · Lesson: Height Maps Vs. Normal Maps · Course: Normal Map Modeling for Games

Height/Bump Map vs Normal Map vs. Displacement Maps

So I am struggling to understand a concept and this is the only place that I can see it addressed. My primary purpose is character and prop modelling for games. I understand that normal maps will work well for objects that don't deform, but for characters and animated objects, do normal maps work effectively?

I have created a high poly creature model and done the retopology on it down to a reasonable level of detail. I am trying to bake the high poly details onto a map that I can use on a rigged and animated version of the lower poly version to import into Unity.

I have tried to use normal maps and displacement maps, but things get a little funky when baking onto the low poly model. Am I going about it the right way? What is a normal workflow for character height/normal map creation in a game workflow? How does that compare to a cinematic workflow that can use higher polycounts and higher resolution maps?

Any way you can clarify the high level view of these workflows would help me get over this roadblock.