Normal Mapping

Blender's renderer and external renderer export

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harkyman
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Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2002 2:47 pm
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Normal Mapping

Post by harkyman »

For 2.36, we were given a preview implementation of normal mapping. I've used it, and the results are great. As stated in the docs, though, it only works correctly on a planar surface, like a wall. I'm wondering if this kind of fell off of the developer's radar? If so, this is just a post to encourage someone to extend the normal mapping code onto curved surfaces.

It's a great effect and really enhances renders, both in quality and in time (you can use less complex geometry). So, if someone had planned to do this and got distracted, this is my attempt to undistract you.

ysvry
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Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:28 pm

Post by ysvry »

hi harky show us some test pictures then.

z3r0_d
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Post by z3r0_d »

iirc it isn't limited to planar surfaces, but it is limited to object space normal maps

that means that the normal maps for an object would be a bunch of colors, instead of mostly blue

object space:
Image

tangent space:
Image [just a random example, not my work]

harkyman
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Post by harkyman »

From http://www.blender3d.com/cms/Normal_Maps.491.0.html:
"Object space" versus "Tangent space":
By only storing the normals in a map with a positive Z component, you can also wrap them around a model, where the map-normals will be applied (rotated) according to the orientation of the face. Although Blender uses and creates such "Tangent maps", it currently doesn't apply it using "tangent mapping". Current mapping is to "Object space" only.

Meaning: normal maps in Blender now only render correct when applied on a flat plane.
I tried making a rat with some fur. I modelled the fur on a flat plane, and rendered it out with the normal map material. Applied to a plane, it looked very nice. Applied to the luxurious three dimensions of a rat model though, it just wouldn't work. Digging in the docs, I found the above info.[/quote]

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