09-28-2010, 10:07 PM
I've done most of my work on game models, and normal maps can be a big boost to simple geometry. However, I'm embarking on one of my first still image scenes today, and I was wondering how big a role normal maps usually play in high detail meshes. I know that you have to watch how much geometry a scene has, as if the scene gets to complex you can wind up slowing your renderer to a crawl, or even crash it.
It seems like normal maps could alleviate some of this. However, I don't know how well a normal map holds up in a still shot, if it does at all. Or if there are some times when you should do this, and some times when you shouldn't.
Not necessarily looking for advice, but it couldn't hurt. Mostly I'm looking for personal preferences and general trends within the community. Thanks!
EDIT: Woo! 100th post.