I finish the texturing tutorials talking about Normal mapping, a technique to produce high resolution maps for low resolutions meshes; it always works obtaining the high resolution map from a high resolution mesh.
First, I loaded a high resolution example, I selected Toad_hi_res file and as we can see in picture below it has 137200 faces, it cannot be moved in a gameplay scene but it is the perfect example to obtain the normal map.
The next picture shows the target mesh where the normal map will be imported, it has 1550 faces, and it is a better polygonal mesh to be moved by an engine. I imported the file clicking on File>Import.
After the comparison I proceeded to create a normal map. First of all, I hid the high res mesh by selecting it and pressing Ctrl+H. Later it was time to select a base material; concretely the Blinn material.
I opened the Outliner in Window>Outliner to show the high res mesh clicking on Display>Show>Show Selection after hi_res_toad selected.
Secondly, to create a normal map I clicked on Lightning/Shading>Transfer Maps. Here I can select the source and target meshes for the transfer. I clicked Toad_lo_res:lo_res_toad in the Outliner and then I clicked on Add Selected, I added the target. In order to add the source I clicked on hi_res_toad in the Outliner and clicked on Add Selected in the Sources Meshes section.
Next, I defined the Search Envelope, it represents a volume bigger than the source, all part of the source between the Search Envelope and the target will be mapped as a texture. I changed Display to Envelope and I set a 4.3 value into the % of envelope, I noticed how a red mesh envelope the meshes. Perfect, I had the correct value; I put back Display to Mesh.
To create the normal map, under Output Maps section I clicked on Normal and I gave a name to the file which I saved as DDS.
Finally I changed two attributes, under Connect Output Maps section I set Connect maps to Assigned shader and under Maya Common Output I set width and height to 1024 with a Sampling quality to Medium as the picture shows.
After clicked on Bake and Close the normal map started to generate.
After a few seconds I obtained the normal map, to see the normal mapped mesh I hid the high res mesh and after I clicked on Renderer>High Quality Rendering.
That’s all; I obtained a normal polygonal mesh with an awesome texture.