Color-Mapping Question

Hi guys: I really hate to bother you about what is most likely a newbie question, but this one has been bothering me for days and after looking all over for an answer, I’m just not finding one. I’ve included some maps that you can look at:
Now these were made with xNormal, (Edit: except the colormap) but can they be made in Blender as well?

  1. Was the model assigned colors in the Material tab then unwrapped, or texture-painted and then baked?
    2.Was the UV map imported to Photoshop for painting?
    3.Were the individual parts unwrapped and manually arranged on a map for painting and baking?
    I’ve spent the last 2 years learning modeling and know a little about procedural texturing but it’s time to move up a little, so if you know a tutorial that explains how to do this or can explain in a short note it would be muchly appreciated. Can’t seem to wrap my head around this.

I’m also a bit of a noob, so I’m sure the others here may have some better explanations for you. But I’ll try and answer your questions as best I can.

As noted on the xNormal FAQ, xNormal is an application to generate normal / ambient occlusion / displacement maps. It can also project the texture of the highpoly model into the lowpoly mesh ( complete texture transfer, even with different topologies.

I know that Blender can do a few of these items, but it isn’t as automatic as xNormal.

Generally the first step is to unwrap your model prior to any material assignments. Blender’s unwrap tool is pretty good at this.

It could have been or it may have been painted using the 3d texture painting tool within Blender. Once your model is unwrapped you can export a bitmap file that shows the UV lines of your model. This is typically assigned to its own layer in PhotoShop or Gimp as a reference only.

Again, they could have been, the maps you have linked to look as though they have been manually tweeked after the initial unwrap. Unwrapping is a bit of an artform in itself.

There are plenty of good videos on Youtube of course and Googling for specific examples relative to how you want to use your models is probably your best bet. As for myself, I’m a hobbiest who is interested in using Blender to make models for modded video games. The two very basic tutorials I’ve used successfully are FreeSpaceFreaks posting at the Hard Light forums :

It is very specific to making models for FreeSpace but it does an excellent job of explaning best practices for unwrapping a model in Blender.

Another Hard Light thread deals with creating the textures themselves.

These are outdated tuts, but but should be a good starting off point for you.

Hey thanks for the come-back rhettro. I’m fairly decent at unwrapping and applying textures and creating most of the maps. It was the colormap I basically had questions about. And there’s a tutorial series: that answered the questions I had, thanks to Alex at the CGCookie Helpdesk. I’m definately going to check out the links you left as well. Thanks again. It’s sometimes hard to get an answer from the more experienced here.