Creating normal maps, help.

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Old 04 April 2013   #16
Originally Posted by Horganovski: Displacement in the mesh caused by normal maps will interact with lighting, bump won't, for one thing.

Cheers,
Brian


Hmm. Never knew that.

Q: If bump doesn't interact with lighting, then why use it? Does it have no interaction at all, or just less interaction?
 
Old 04 April 2013   #17
Only Shading is taken into account with a bump map. Displacement also works with shadows and it gives correct contours. Displacement is basically the same as having modelled the geometry.
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Old 05 May 2013   #18
Originally Posted by Srek: Only Shading is taken into account with a bump map. Displacement also works with shadows and it gives correct contours. Displacement is basically the same as having modelled the geometry.


To make sure I'm clear, are you talking about normal maps? You said "displacement" but isn't that a third option? Bump / Normal / SPD
 
Old 05 May 2013   #19
Originally Posted by sneather: To make sure I'm clear, are you talking about normal maps? You said "displacement" but isn't that a third option? Bump / Normal / SPD

My post was related to the one before with the reference to displacement.
Bumpmap and Normalmap don't change the geometry of an object and are therefore only able to affect shading.
A Bumpmap will give you a "virtual" elevation of the surface along the normal of that surface.
A Normalmap is the same but directional so you can create much more detailed features, than the geometry actually has.
Displacement will either modify existing geometry based on the material settings or even create subdivisions at rendertime (SPD). Different to Bump and Normalmapping it allows for correct contours, shadows etc.
Technically they are very similar, you can use a normal or bump map with displacement, or vice versa.
For example sculpted objects most often don't use the fully subdivided geometry but a much lighter one plus a normal map baked from the original highest subdivision level sculpting.
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Old 05 May 2013   #20
Thanks for the clarification, Srek. Sorry, I misunderstood your initial reference.
I have been using bump maps for this whole time, but just the other day I experimented with generating some Normal maps. I must say, the results in Cinema are substantially improved over the standard bump maps I had been using in the same exact project.

I'm wondering. Would I be able to generate a usable normal map of an entire imported .OBJ model? Or will the poly tris and quads ruin the results, just like they do when I try and bake my AO maps. Which just kills me, by the way...
 
Old 05 May 2013   #21
Well, I thought I'd put together a quick image to illustrate. So I loaded a Noise into the bump channel of one material, and the same noise into the Normaliser Shader in the normal channel of another material. Put the two materials on two meshes. They look very similar in the viewport, but when I hit render the normal one has no effect, the mesh is completely smooth.

A bug with the normalizer shader that it doesn't work with noise ? I notice if I load in a checkerboard shader or somthing like that it does work.

Cheers,
Brian
 
Old 05 May 2013   #22
Works here with UV projection instead of Texture, Brian.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #23
Yes, it can't convert 3D shaders, needs to be 2D.
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Old 05 May 2013   #24
Ah, thanks guys. Good to know.

Cheers,
Brian
 
Old 05 May 2013   #25
Just for the record, here is a comparison. On the left is a procedural noise bump map. On the right, the same map, set to UV space and run through the normalizer shader in the normal channel. Lighting is a sky object with custom HDRI map. GI enabled.



Great tip about the normalizer shader!
 
Old 05 May 2013   #26
Wow. Subtle subject matter. But the difference is quite obvious.

Originally Posted by travismetcalf: Just for the record, here is a comparison. On the left is a procedural noise bump map. On the right, the same map, set to UV space and run through the normalizer shader in the normal channel. Lighting is a sky object with custom HDRI map. GI enabled.



Great tip about the normalizer shader!
 
Old 05 May 2013   #27
Oops. I just realized R13 doesn't have the normalizer shader. I guess yet another reason to consider the upgrade to R14...
 
Old 05 May 2013   #28
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