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MARS_999

Normalmap tools

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I am using the Nvidia normalmap plug in for Photoshop and looks no where near what I see from other peoples normalmaps they make... So I am wondering what I am doing wrong or is it the Nvidia tool and Ati tools aren't the best quality but good enough to mess around with?

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search google for crazy bump.
however there is only so far you can go with doing normal maps generated from images. the best normal maps you've seen are more than likely from actual high poly 3d models where they modeled a high poly version of their low poly game model and thne used the high poly to generate a normal map with the details of the high for the low poly mesh. think about it this way, with 2d image gernated normal maps you're generating 3d information from a 2d source. where with model 3d generated normal maps you're generating 3d information into a 2d image from a 3d source, more information makes it into the final normal map image.
also keep in mind with 2d image generated normal maps you're generating them from a greyscale map (or you should be at least), where white is the highest extrusion out and black is the highest extrusion inward (or intrusion), and thne black and white values in between are different extrusions in between. so keep this in mind when creating your normal maps from images.

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I agree with Jarrod1937, for better normal maps you should go witha high poly model. Here's something to help you out:

http://www.poopinmymouth.com/tutorial/normal_workflow.htm

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Problem is these are for terrains and are heightmaps. So will 3DS load a heightmap and make the terrains normalmap?

Thanks

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Quote:
Original post by MARS_999
Problem is these are for terrains and are heightmaps. So will 3DS load a heightmap and make the terrains normalmap?

Thanks

if your terrain texturing uses tiling textures and something like texture splatting then you cna do whats mentioned above. however if you're wanting to use a single normal map for the entire terrain that would not be a good idea. unless you are viewing the terrain from a skyview or unless your terrain is small. otherwise the normal map when applied will look pixelated and flat.
and yes, you could simply use the heightmap as a displacement map for a tessalated plane mesh and then tweak the actual model produced by hand and then generate a normal map out of this. however it is not very common to unwrap an entire terrain mesh. i'd look into better terrain methods if you're doign things this way as it always turns out subpar.

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