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Norman Barrows

recalulating normals for quad based plant meshes

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While researching quad based plant meshes, I came across a process where after creating a mesh of quads, they recalculate the normals to improve the lighting. This is done with free tools. I assume the quad vertex normals usually face in the direction of the face normal vector for their triangle, and that this method makes them face "outward" with respect to some "center" of the plant.  I haven't checked out the tools to see if i can figure out exactly what they do.  Although the results i've seen are interesting.

What i was wondering was, couldn't that be done in the vertex shader?   pass in a center point.  normal=normalize(in.pos-center).  right?

all normals would radiate out from the center point in all directions.   place the center at the based of a small plant mesh, or the centerof a bush, or the center of a treetop.

If necessary, i can try find the links that mentioned the tools, they had some nice animated gifs showing the differences.

I'm working on low ground cover plant meshes, and was thinking such a normals fixup might improve the lighting. either on this or more traditional quad based plant meshes.

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