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Normal maps are flipped or have seams on certain faces when exporting to 3ds Max

New Here ,
Jan 31, 2024 Jan 31, 2024

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Hi, I'm new to substance 3D painter but am having an issue. I'm hoping it's just something i forgot to tick somewhere! I've made a model in 3DS Max, exported to zbrush for a high poly mesh and then brought bothe into Substance 3d Painter to do the bake. All worked fine, I worked up the textures etc and was happy. However, when i went to export the textures and opened them in Max, the normals were a bit of  a mess! 

 

I've used Arnold and made a physical material for the sake of this test. It seems the UV islands are creating normal seams and sometimes the normals are inverted. I don't know if it's anything to do with mirroring geometry in creating the model, but i have applied an Xform reset and normal modifier  to ensure all normals are unified but it doesn't resolve the problem.

 

As you can see from the images below what i see in substance painter is quite different from what i get in Max. There are seams everywhere and some of the geometry even has hard edges brought through fromt he normal map even though it's using smoothing.  Is this due to how i baked the normals or a setting to export the normal texture from Substance Painter? Maybe it's my material setup in Arnold? I'm hoping it's not a mesh based problem as I can't seem to fix that (I tried exporting and reimporting the meshes but same issue.)

 

Hoping there is a solution someone can help me with, apologies for my basic knowledge and thanks in advance!

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Import & Export

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New Here , Feb 01, 2024 Feb 01, 2024

Hi @Cyril Dellenbach 

Thanks so much for the swift response, it was very helpful and a huge relief to find i didn't have to start fresh. Fortunately,  as I'm bringing the model into Unreal Engine 5, the maps already worked fine with the Direct X version 

Dragon_Unreal.jpg

However I continued to get artifacts in the Max version. For anyone who has this problem, it transpires it's actually how you import the normal map. When selecting your normal texture for import, check that the Gamma is set to override and this is

...

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Adobe Employee ,
Feb 01, 2024 Feb 01, 2024

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Hello @Giembi77,

 

Thanks for all the details, and nice project you have here! It reminds me of the game Spyro.

 

Don't worry, this issue is pretty easy to explain. There are two formats for Normal Maps: OpenGl and DirectX

Both correspond to a Graphic API that programmers use in their application, and the Normal Map will be different if OpenGL or if DirectX.

Basically, if you use the wrong Normal Map in an application, it will look like the Normals are flipped.

 

For instance, Arnold uses OpenGL, and I can see that your Normal Map is in DirectX. Therefore, I advise you to create your own Export preset and make sure the Normal map is in OpenGL.

This tutorial details precisely what we just talked about.

Cyril Dellenbach (Micro) | QA Support Artist | Adobe

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New Here ,
Feb 01, 2024 Feb 01, 2024

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Hi @Cyril Dellenbach 

Thanks so much for the swift response, it was very helpful and a huge relief to find i didn't have to start fresh. Fortunately,  as I'm bringing the model into Unreal Engine 5, the maps already worked fine with the Direct X version 

Dragon_Unreal.jpg

However I continued to get artifacts in the Max version. For anyone who has this problem, it transpires it's actually how you import the normal map. When selecting your normal texture for import, check that the Gamma is set to override and this is set to 1. This totally removed the artifacts and issues i was having!

3ds Max import Normals.jpg

 

Thanks once again, really appreciate it!

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