LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : Raytraced shadows and normal maps: Faceted shadows edges along mesh normals

05-06-2009, 01:50 PM
Using 3DS MAX 2009 32 bit on Windows XP.

On my model i have a tangent space normal map generated in Zbrush (properly set up yes).

Problem appears when lighting it. 1 direct lightwith raytraced shadows, 1 omni fill light w/no shadows, mental ray, no indirect illumination. Shader is a standard blinn. (Got the same problem with a well setup skin SSS which is my intended shader for final render.) (

As you can see, along the terminator of the light, most prominently at the eyebrow, a nasty edge appears on the shadow. I've tried tweaking the shadow/light settings in all the ways i can think of. (
This is the model without any maps. Shadows are nice and soft. (

It would also seem that the shadow edge appears along the nearest normals along the terminator.

Searched the web for a long time, but no one seems to have any answers, or even the same problem. The problem appears on other models set up in a fresh scene too.

So, anyone have any ideas as to what i am missing?

05-07-2009, 01:08 AM
Are you using gamma 1.0 for normal maps when loading them into max?

05-07-2009, 08:14 AM
Are you using gamma 1.0 for normal maps when loading them into max?
Hmm... Is this a Zbrush export thing, as in on the map itself, or is it in the map settings of the max material editor? Been looking around for a gamma setting, including the help file, but unable to find anything. Seems i know even less about texturing than i thought.

On a side note, the Mental Ray Arch & Design material seems to lessen the sharp shadow, but it still creates some artifacts around the same area.

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05-07-2009, 08:14 AM
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