Advertisement Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mr Furious

OpenGL Normal Mapping WITHOUT Precomputed Tangents

This topic is 3653 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I recently read Christian Schuler's article in ShaderX5: Normal Mapping without Precomputed Tangents and saw alot of potential in using for our apps at work. Since we are strictly OpenGL here, I started about porting the shaders to GLSL. You can see a video of what I have so far here:
However, what you might notice from the video is that there is a seem in the texture at which point the vertical element of my normal seems to flip. I have no idea why this is happening and was hoping that perhaps you did. For comparison, here is a video where I have precomputed the tangents:
Notice that the seam is not present since the normals are never flipped. Does anyone have experience with this technique? For reference, here are my shaders:
uniform mat4 osg_ViewMatrixInverse;

varying vec3 vNormal;
varying vec3 vLightDir;
varying vec3 vViewDir;

void main()
   //Pass the texture coordinate on through.
   gl_TexCoord[0] = gl_MultiTexCoord0;

   vLightDir = normalize(-gl_LightSource[0].position.xzy);
   vLightDir.y = -vLightDir.y;
   // View position  -  vertex position
   vViewDir = normalize(osg_ViewMatrixInverse[3].xyz -;
   mat4 worldMatrix = gl_ModelViewMatrix * osg_ViewMatrixInverse;
   // Get the world space normal
   vec3 test = (gl_NormalMatrix * gl_Normal);
   test = osg_ViewMatrixInverse * vec4(test, 0.0);
   vNormal = normalize(test);
   //vNormal = normalize(gl_NormalMatrix * gl_Normal);
   //Compute the final vertex position in clip space.
   gl_Position = gl_ModelViewProjectionMatrix * gl_Vertex;

...and the frag shader

uniform sampler2D normalTexture;
uniform sampler2D diffuseTexture;

uniform int mode;

varying vec3 vNormal;
varying vec3 vLightDir;
varying vec3 vViewDir;

float saturate(float inValue)
   return clamp(inValue, 0.0, 1.0);

mat3 MatrixInverse(mat3 inMatrix)
   float det = dot(cross(inMatrix[0], inMatrix[1]), inMatrix[2]);
   mat3 T = transpose(inMatrix);
   return mat3(cross(T[1], T[2]),
               cross(T[2], T[0]),
               cross(T[0], T[1])) / det;

void main(void)
   // Normalize the passed vectors from the vertex shader
   vec3 viewDir = normalize(vViewDir);
   vec3 lightDir = normalize(vLightDir);
 // get edge vectors of the pixel triangle
   vec3 dp1  = dFdx(viewDir);
   vec3 dp2  = dFdy(viewDir);   
   vec2 duv1 = dFdx(gl_TexCoord[0].xy);
   vec2 duv2 = dFdy(gl_TexCoord[0].xy);  
   // solve the linear system
   mat3 M = mat3(dp1, dp2, cross(dp1, dp2));
   mat3 inverseM = MatrixInverse(M);
   vec3 T = inverseM * vec3(duv1.x, duv2.x, 0.0);
   vec3 B = inverseM * vec3(duv1.y, duv2.y, 0.0);
   // construct tangent frame  
   float maxLength = max(length(T), length(B));
   T = T / maxLength;
   B = B / maxLength;
   vec3 tangent = normalize(T);
   vec3 binormal = normalize(B);  
   mat3 tangentBasis = mat3(T, B, vNormal);
   // Get the colors from our base and normal textures
   vec3 base = texture2D(diffuseTexture, gl_TexCoord[0].xy).xyz;
   vec3 bump = texture2D(normalTexture, gl_TexCoord[0].xy).xyz;
   // Change the range from  [-1, 1] to [0, 1]
   bump = (bump * 2.0) - 1.0;   
   // Transform into world space
   vec3 normal = normalize(tangentBasis * bump);
   float originalNdotL = saturate(dot(vNormal, lightDir));
   float NdotL = saturate(dot(normal, lightDir));
   //  Get the phong contribution
   vec3 reflectionDir = normalize(2.0 * NdotL * vec3(normal) - lightDir);
   float reflectionAngle =  saturate(dot(reflectionDir, viewDir));
   // Limit the specular contribution
   float specularFactor = 0.25;
   vec3 ambient = vec3(0.2) * base;
   vec3 diffuse = vec3(0.8) * base * NdotL;
   vec3 specular = originalNdotL * vec3(pow(reflectionAngle, 16.0)) * specularFactor;
   vec3 finalColor;
   if (mode == 1)
	  finalColor = base;
   else if (mode == 2)
	  finalColor = bump;
   else if (mode == 3)
	  finalColor = ambient;
   else if (mode == 4)
      finalColor = diffuse;
   else if (mode == 5)
	  finalColor = specular; 	
   else if (mode == 6)
      finalColor = vec3(NdotL); 
   else if (mode == 7)
	  finalColor = normal;
   else if (mode == 8)
      finalColor =;
   else if (mode == 9)
	  finalColor = vLightDir;	 
   else if (mode == 0)
      finalColor = ambient + diffuse + specular;
      finalColor = vec4(1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0);
   gl_FragColor = vec4(finalColor, 1.0);

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
The normal mapping is based on texture UV vectors.

When you calculate tangent space matrices per-vertex (the standard way) you use both geometry and texture coordinate to find direction of bitangent (binormal) and tangent vector.

If you calculate tangent space on the fly inside the shader and you mirror the texture over the object surface you get reversed tangent space vectors.

Try to wrap/tile the texture over the object surface but not mirror.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement

Important Information

By using, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy. is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!