WIP: Serenity for game mod.

I’ve been working on getting a low poly version of Serenity (the ship from the Firefly show, if you don’t recognize the name) ready to mod into a game, and earlier today I pretty much finished the modelling portion and am starting on texturing.

The state of things, as they are right now. Currently at 5493 triangles, 3274 vertices:

http://tru7h.org/files/images/firefly/x3/lowpoly-1.jpg

The high poly version has 239,895 faces, most of which are quads!

I have a high-res version of the same model (not my work, I found it at fireflyfans.net) that I’m looking to use to generate nor maps and, hopefully, help with textures. It looks like this:

http://tru7h.org/files/images/firefly/x3/lowpoly-4.jpg

There’s a huge difference in detail, as you can see.

I understand how to create nor maps. What I don’t understand is a good system to use the high poly model to generate textures that I can easily map to my unwrapped low poly model. Are there any good proceedures for this sort of work, or is it going to end up a hopelessly manual task?

Is there some way to “render to uv map” that I could in theory load onto the new model, which would have a similar unwrap that would automagically work?

Regarding nor map generation, the ones I’ve created in testing have come out with a moire pattern on them:

http://tru7h.org/files/images/firefly/x3/lowpoly-5.jpg

Is this an artifact of rendering to a flat plane, or something else? The nor map was rendered at 1024x1024 with 16 OSA.

Last but not least, here’s a couple wireframes of my model if anyone has any feedback to offer:

http://tru7h.org/files/images/firefly/x3/lowpoly-2.gif

http://tru7h.org/files/images/firefly/x3/lowpoly-3.gif