3ds max / mudflow normal map workflow

i use this for realtime graphics, so i am ignoring creation of displacement maps, just focus on normal map generation.

building basic model in 3dsmax


- build a model / use subdivision
- unwrap model for later normal map texture coordinates

importing model into mudbox


- export model from 3ds max as .obj file
- import model into mudbox
- subdivide (shift-d) to a higher level, e.g. level 3
- paint your stuff onto it.

getting your normal map into 3ds max


- choose utilities->texture baking
- select "low resolution mesh": "[modelname] level 0"
- select high resolution mesh: "[modelname] level [highest number]"
- activate "create normal map", choose filename
- deactivate "create displacement map"
- open advances settings
- enable smooth UV's
- choose preset "3dsmax"
- start map baking process
- switch to 3ds max
- open the material editor
- goto "maps"
- click "none" next to "bump"
- choose "normal bump"
- select your image file you exported from mudbox
- finished

mudboxnmap.jpg

this is the original version (~4000 faces) and the result after setting the normal map.
its far from being finished and the uvw map is really crappy, but you'll get the idea...

misc:
check the great mudbox tutorials at pixelcg.com/