Quixel has released an open beta of nD02, its intuitive normal-mapping plug-in for Photoshop.
Workflow takes place entirely within Photoshop, including the option to view 3D previews of the maps.
My race mods tend to stand out for two big reasons - custom face morphs and purpose-built normal maps.
Import the mesh and draw it in the viewport, toggle X axis symmetry on from Transform and enable Edit mode. Subdivide the mesh once, delete lower subdivisions and DynaMesh the model at resolution 130-180. I usually do most of my sculpting using Clay Buildup, layering thin strokes to establish facial bone structure and musculature and dominant elements.
Subdivide whenever you feel you've got the most out of the polygons allocated to your current level.
Again, once the sculpt looks tight and you start being blocked by a lack of polygons, go up to level 3. In this lesson we will use transfer detail from the high resolution mesh using a normal map. In this Maya tutorial, we will learn how to create a realistic rifle and then process the high-res mesh into a lower-res mesh usable in game engines. But nVidia thought about this and made a function into their DDS exporter which allows correct generation of normal map mip maps, where all the mip maps are generated from the height data at the same mip level.
The presentation also claims that this workflow is more natural anyway, and doesn’t involve filtering the texture before before exporting it, as the DDS exporter does everything for you. Here’s the comparision of a wrongly mipmapped normal map (left), and correctly mipmapped normal map (right), from the same height data. Mip Level 1 : The lack of normalization in the wrong (left) version is obvious in high-frequency details.
Seems either no one is talking about louis daguerre at this moment on GOOGLE-PLUS or the GOOGLE-PLUS service is congested. I'm the creator of Ethereal Elven Overhaul and the Dagi-Raht Khajiit race and I'm here to tell you all my secrets.

Choose the race morph you want to work off on and delete all the other morphs using the X button.
Dam_Standard is really great for sculpting in more tight and finessed lines in the skin, like the eyelid creases and lip definition. Little wrinkles in the skin of the forehead and under the eyes make the character look more living. They're large in filesize (my 2048 maps are a whopping 21mb each) but have zero artifacting. I made all sorts of bumps in it, high-frequency noise, lower frequency one, some clouds, some small bumps, etc. This is an advanced-level tutorial and will assume existing knowledge of all the software packages involved - this is just a concise walkthrough across my procedure. This is a guide on how you can use all of them in unison to make your own normal maps for your characters and the few required tricks for getting the maps baked and brought into the game without bad compression artifacts. If you're working with a custom race that has its own associated race morph TRI in existence, skip straight to booting up Blender. Make sure only the morph you want is left and export the head as an OBJ file with default settings. Now finally add a Cap Holes modifier and collapse it again to seal the neck hole and any remaining gaps in the mesh.
If you haven't used Zbrush before, now's your time to read up, it has a fairly steep learning curve. Notice how the sculpt has both large soft areas and tighter creases and subtle pinched skin folds. Even younger people get these folds to some extent - completely smooth skin tends to look fake.
Layer your new normal map on top of the blurry one and clean up your map's messy borders by erasing with a soft brush so the old map shows up underneath.
These are also punishing for low-end computers, so distributing your maps in 1024 and allowing an optional download at 2048 is smart. But when working in games and other real-time applications, it's often necessary to use lower resolution geometry.

That means you can keep your height maps as PSD Photoshop files, and export the DDS that contain normal data. Don't change the general shape of the head much - you'll need it to stay as close as possible to the initial exported model, so don't alter the width of the jaw or the nose and such. This keeps the face looking organic and varied and gives the appearance of an adult person. Open up the normal map render settings and set the coordinates to X-, Y+, Z+ (Editor's note: in some cases should be set to X+, Z+, Y+ to make it look properly) and make sure Tangent space is unticked.
To create the illusion of greater detail than the resolution would allow, normal maps are often employed. When you examine the UV, it will be upside down - flip it vertically from the Tools tab and collapse the UV to the model. Export the high poly as an OBJ (this may take time as it has millions of polygons now) and name it something like yourmodel_hipoly.obj in the same folder as the lowpoly you built this sculpt on top of. Sometimes you also broaden the nose too much while sculpting, so it can be useful to adjust it - and I've noticed the bridge of the nose also goes off-kilter occasionally. We'll begin this course by building a high resolution assault rifle using a variety of modeling tools in Maya. But as I like to push my normals even further, I tend to add high-detail skin pore overlays on top of my texture out of an archive of high-res face photographs. Once we have the high resolution mesh built, we can build a much lower resolution cage around the mesh, taking into account any of the details that we want to capture. Once we're done, we'll create a uv layout for the low rez pieces and use Transfer Maps to create and apply a normal map calculated from our high resolution geometry.

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