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I Still Can't Make Normal Maps

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Hi guys,

 

Using 3ds I know how to project objects onto a plane and render to texture to make a normal map that can be applied to a quad for a detailed wall but I don't know how to make a normal map for a full 3D object. I don't know if it involves unwrapping, if I need to use a plugin, or something else; I really have no clue. I've seen examples in Maya where you can make a normal map by simply selecting Transform Maps and making a few clicks, and I've seen 3ds tutorials that are 45 minutes long showing how to make a normal map. I've seen that everyone loves XNormal but that's now 64-bit only and I can't use it. Will someone please fill me in.

 

Thanks.

 

 

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With Blender it's about as easy as it gets. 

 

Here are some videos to get started.  The third one shows how to project the normals from a high poly 3D model onto a low-res version.

 

http://cgcookie.com/blender/2011/07/22/creating-a-sci-fi-panel-part-1/

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7PQGgz1RII

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mU-cSUSR0Vs

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