January 9 2006 - ZMapper
Pixologic, Inc. today announced the release of ZMapper a free plug-in for current registered ZBrush users. Using ZBrush’s revolutionary multiple levels of resolution and a new lighting fast ray tracer, ZMapper generates unsurpassed normal maps in seconds that will work for any game engine need. ZMapper also supports arbitrary meshes, a key feature for the game industry. ZMapper is designed for both the beginning end-user and the professional. It can be used straight out of the box or can be extensively customized to address any game engine or production need.
Shane Caudle, Technical Art Director at Epic Games says, "We here at Epic have found ZBrush to be an irreplaceable tool in our pipeline; we use it extensively for character and environment assets. With this new release of the ZMapper, plug-in even more aspects of our pipeline can be done inside ZBrush. Since we are doing next generation games, our models rely heavily on normal map detail to make our in game models look like their extremely detailed counterparts. ZMapper is an awesome tool for creating high quality normal maps in a fraction of the time that other programs we use would take".
Built into ZMapper is a simple to use interface that gives artists and programmers complete control over their normal maps. Every permutation of normal map generation is possible and easy to do with ZMapper’s Expert Options. Artists can create tangent space normal maps, world space normal maps, flip their red channels, swap their red and green channels, derive their tangents from their normal and binormals as well as a host of other options.
-Tangent Space and World Space: ZMapper generates tangent space maps as well as world space maps.
-Expert Options: Built into ZMapper are Expert Options for the production artist and game programmer who needs to generate normal maps for specific game engines.
-Display Controls: ZMapper allows you to view your wire frame, your normals, your tangents, your UV seams, your normal map as a texture and your normal map rendered on your model.
-Render Region: ZMapper includes a render region window that allows you to render only small portions of the normal map at a time or to focus in on problem areas and adjust your settings for those areas only.
-Snapshot: The snapshot function stores an image of your model within the viewer to compare results against. This tool is very important for allowing artists to test out their settings as well as export images directly out of the viewer.
-Morph 3D Mesh: Store a morph target of your model breathing, flexing or posing and watch your normal map in action.
-Morph 2D Unwrap: View your UVs directly on a flattened version of your Model. Morph 2D Unwrap allows you to troubleshoot your normal map settings at the UV boundaries and check your normal map as a 2D texture.
-Create Cavity Maps: A cavity map can be added into your normal map or created independently.
-Inflate High Rez Mesh Details: When calculating your high resolution mesh, ZMapper can inflate details such as wrinkles, bumps and scales to give an extra level of control over your maps.
-Preset and Custom Configurations: ZMapper ships with several preset normal map configurations for Maya, XSI, 3D Studio Max, NVIDIA and more. With ZMapper you can also create, share and save your own configurations.
-Bump Map Integration: ZMapper allows you to roll your bump map into your normal map. Use bump maps to add pore-level detail to a model that breaks through the 10 million poly barrier.
-Arbitrary Mesh Support: This powerful Projection feature makes it possible to create a normal map by projecting one mesh's details onto another arbitrary mesh (with different topology)
With ZMapper, Pixologic continues its promise to give artists the most powerful toolset in the most direct and accessible format possible, and assert itself as the Next-Gen tool for the Next-Gen game artist.
Pricing and Availability
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