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Baking normals in ZBrush results in artifacts everywhere

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I have been trying to bake a normal map out of ZBrush but I keep getting the same results of artifacts all over my normal map, I tried every solution suggested online.

The workflow follows: Creating the mesh in Maya

Exporting to ZBrush to sculpt

UV Unwrapping in Maya followed by importing the UV's back into ZBrush to bake.

The result is this normal map

I will also attach the Maya file in case anyone asks.

Is there any solution on how to get rid of these artifact? I am currently baking from 24 Mil points to 24K Points.


  • Neox
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    Neox veteran polycounter

    i would suggest not to bake normalmaps inside zbrush, it doesnt handle normals well, whats its native tangentspace anyways? whats your target engine to present the asset? dependent on that there are a bunch of options. say you wanna present in unreal or unity, you can use dedicated bakers such as marmoset toolbag, or substance painter, blender. i do believe maya and max also support mikk tangentbase, so they should also be able to bake for those engines. zbrush is not.

    looking at your baked map tho, i think zbrush has flipped the UVs for some reason. So apply the lettered checkerboard pattern, go into the UV tab and cycle them inside Tool >UV Map> Adjust> Cycle don't be fooled, when you think you hit the correct orientation, click twice or three times more to get there a second time... now you have the UVs cycled correctly

    yeah zbrush is great in some regards

  • Cencu

    I'd still like to bake it in ZBrush for personal reasons. I'm currently baking it on a 4K texture space and eventually for Unreal 5, if that is what you're asking. Thank you for the cycling UV's tip however!

  • pior
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    pior grand marshal polycounter

    Well .... do the personal reasons prevent from downloading Xnormal ?

  • Joopson
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    Joopson quad damage

    Zbrush is never going to be a competent tool for baking normal maps; you'll have to fight it the whole way for what will only be mediocre results— xnormal is free and infinitely more capable. Especially if you're aiming for Unreal Engine.

    It's fine to have preferences or personal reasons; but, this particular choice is not advised.

    I will say, your "low poly" is pretty tiny, but the UVs look clean enough. Are you sure they're being exported and imported right into Zbrush, and that the meshes are both on the same scale, etc?

  • Neox
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    Neox veteran polycounter

    Fine go with your personal reasons and be unhappy with the result then. Zbrush is not able to bake adequately for Unreal Engine afaik.

    You might be lucky if your mesh is so highres, that the tangents nearly do not matter.

  • poopipe
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    poopipe grand marshal polycounter

    To clarify.

    The app you bake in has to use the same maths as the app you render in for normal maps to work properly.

    Zbrush uses different maths from every other app.

    Substance, marmoset, xnormal, unity, unreal,everyone else use the same maths(except Maya I think)

  • Cencu

    I ended up unwrapping the UV's again, it seemed to do the trick, I tried xNormals, I had the same result.

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