What’s a Difference Map?

Before we proceed, it is important to understand the concept of difference maps and how they function. In this context, the term difference mapping refers to texture maps generated by calculating the difference between two surfaces, usually a high-resolution polygon mesh and a low-polygon counterpart placed together in world space so the program can find the corresponding point on the high-res mesh that matches the same point on the low-res mesh. ZBrush will calculate the differences between a high-res mesh and a low-res surface and produce a value appropriate for the kind of map being generated. The resulting map can be used in a third-party renderer to re-create the look of the highly detailed ZBrush model. ZBrush can ...

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