So this is how I understand it:
An artist models the thing in Zbrush or Mudbox. It now has 10+ million polygon. He exports it in Zbrush as a normal map + low poly model. (this works?) The model now has ~20-30k polygons?
Now the artist imports the low poly model into 3dsmax or Maya, applies the normal map somehow as well, so it will look in the modelling program just like it would ingame. Then he starts adding bones and then skins the model. Then animation, then export. As I understand it, somehow all the textures of a model get "baked" into a single texture which the engine will understand?
Do people still make textures in Photoshop and then UV unwrap the model by hand, then apply the textures? I never understood how someone can make the laid out texture of a face in Photoshop, and somehow he knows that it will look good on the model. Do they paint the textures in Zbrush? But Zbrush doesn't have all the photoshop tools.
What if I want to make a terrain, or an indoor level? Do I just model the whole thing in 3dsmax? What if the textures don't show up in the engine the way they do in 3dsmax?