Pixologic, Inc. announced the release of ZMapper, a free plug-in for current registered ZBrush users. Using ZBrush’s multiple levels of resolution and a new ray tracer, ZMapper generates normal maps that will work for any game engine need. ZMapper also supports arbitrary meshes.
Built into ZMapper is an interface that gives artists and programmers control over their normal maps. Every permutation of normal map generation is controllable 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 other options.
Among ZMapper's features are that it generates tangent space maps as well as world space maps. 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. 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.
ZMapper also includes a snapshot function to store an image of your model within the viewer to compare results against. Users can store a morph target of the model breathing, flexing or posing and watch the normal map in action.
Morph 2D Unwrap allows you to troubleshoot your normal map settings at the UV boundaries and check your normal map as a 2D texture. A cavity map can be added into your normal map or created independently. 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.
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. ZMapper allows you to roll your bump map into your normal map.
Finally, ZMapper's Projection feature makes it possible to create a normal map by projecting one mesh's details onto another arbitrary mesh (with different topology).