Normal Mapping for Half Life 2 in XSI

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  12 December 2003
Normal Mapping for Half Life 2 in XSI

Does anyone know or have a good tutorial of normal mapping using the GPUSurfaceFX addon in Softimage XSI 3.5?

I tired it for a few hours and couldnt get it working after reading the info in net view, or watching the demo from the Softimage site.

My test:
1. Build a low rez model. Assigned UV mapping to it.
2. Duplicated low rez, subdevided it, extruded some polys for detail, assigned a UV map, added the default image as the texture.
3. Used GPUSurfaceFX addon.
4. Under Setup, clicked Create, added the hi rez mesh with UV to the high_resolution layer
5. Selected the low rez mesh and hit apply from the Low Resolution Setup in Net View, on the popup I left the default settings and clicked Regenerate Maps.
6. Opened the Render Tree, selected the low rez mesh to see the texture tree, then finally draged the diffuse bump map from the Material Presets under GPUSurfaceFX net view window onto the material node for the low rez mesh... nothing happened. Any solutions?

Also when I hit Create to have the addon generate layers/lighting I get an Internet Explorer script error:
Line: 43
Char: 2
Error: Invalid procedure call or argument
Code: 0
URL: file://C:\Softimage\XSI_3.5\Addons\GPUSurfaceFX\prepping. htm

I click yes to keep running the script.

Maybe there is a manual way to set it up?

Thanks.

Last edited by adam|zeliasz : 01 January 2004 at 03:21 AM.
 
  01 January 2004
Have you tried using the quick setup link to see if the same error occurs?
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  01 January 2004
I tired that too. I wonder if there's a way to create them manually.
 
  01 January 2004
I just finished a quick camtasia on how to do it, will post link soon

Here ya go 20mb Windows Media 9 encoded
http://tinyurl.com/28qxc
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Last edited by wmendez : 01 January 2004 at 05:29 AM.
 
  01 January 2004
Thanks for the video tutorial. Let me try it and get back to you.

Thanks.
 
  01 January 2004
I followed everything correctly till I selected the Real Time Shaders in the perspective window. I got an error that the real time shader .DLL is missing. Im going to try it at home.

Does the same setup work if I wanted to use DirectX instead of openGL?
 
  01 January 2004
If using OpenGL you need the CG shader libraries from Nvidia installed?

http://developer.nvidia.com/object/cg_toolkit.html

You can use Direct X, The reason I did not use it in this demo was because when I moved the light in realtime shader mode the viewports flashes (even with my Quadro 980 card) So when I tried with with OGL I did not have the problem.
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Last edited by wmendez : 01 January 2004 at 07:09 PM.
 
  01 January 2004
I hope you dont mind if I ask you another question since you seem to have some experience with normal maps.

If I build a hi res model of a boot; buckles that are seperate objects and a zipper that is also seperate (each item has its own uv's and textures); is it possible to build a low res mesh of a boot without buckles and a zipper (that has uv's already but not textured) and have the GPUSurfaceFX output both textures and normal maps to the low res mesh, using the buckles and zipper on the high res mesh for normals on the boot?

Last edited by adam|zeliasz : 01 January 2004 at 10:56 PM.
 
  01 January 2004
Quote: Originally posted by adam|zeliasz
I hope you dont mind if I ask you another question since you seem to have some experience with normal maps.


Hey, that's what these forums are for, not a problem.


Quote: [i]
If I build a hi res model of a boot; buckles that are seperate objects and a zipper that is also seperate (each item has its own uv's and textures); is it possible to build a low res mesh of a boot without buckles and a zipper (that has uv's already but not textured) and have the GPUSurfaceFX output both textures and normal maps to the low res mesh, using the buckles and zipper on the high res mesh for normals on the boot? [/B]


No, they need to be one complete highres object.
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  01 January 2004
don't quote me on that Will, but I can't see why multiple objects normals can't be baked into a single lowres object.

what the scripts do, aside from setting the rendertree for you from some templates/presets, is putting a shader on objects so that they render their normals vectors into RGB space, hide the lowres object from the camera, and rendermap with distance from surface the result.

whatever it's multiple objects or just one MRay doesn't care, whatever is in the way between the object and the virtual camera, set at a convenient distance, gets in.

I use my own script to generate normal maps since a while now, so I don't know about the default netview page, but I guess all you need to do is to hack the script to take multiple selections during the picking session (if it doesn't allow already).

will have a look into it
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  01 January 2004
If you watch the GPUSurfaceFX demo for XSI 3.5 on the Softimage site, when he does the demonstration the hi res model consists of multiple objects and the low res model is one mesh.

I wanted to see if you figured out how to get it to work. Im trying to figure out if I can apply all my texture work on the hi res model and save the time from doing it again on the low res one.

I have the same problem when you view the real time shaders using directx. When I rotate around I get a shimmering effect on the model like the normals wont display right.

Anyone have a solution on how to get the real time shaders working with DirectX in the viewport?
 
  01 January 2004
Do you have a specific program I need to install to get the openGL window to work? I downloaded "everything" from the link you gave me and I think I installed pretty much everything... do you know the specific name of the .exe file that I need? Maybe I dont have to install everything, just the CG Shader Library whichever that is...

Also, do you have to have a nvidia card to get it working in the viewport? Im running an ATI and after I installed Nvidias software and ran your instruction, the viewport didnt give me any normals, just a darken textured grid... barely can make out the normal map texture.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.
 
  01 January 2004
Hey Jaco,

I thought the same but when I asked Alexandre Jean-Claude(GPU programmer) he replied it was not possible. I recall the HL2 Demo as well and all of the rock objects were part of a group which then the material was then assigned to. I will confirm this once again to be sure. Better yet I will try to get him to reply here. stay tuned
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Last edited by wmendez : 01 January 2004 at 05:31 AM.
 
  01 January 2004
yes, if you have multiple objects you need some sort of grouping, not really because you can't load a preset on each of them, but more because you don't want to smoke the user's materials away

that way is possible tho, just create the normal maps yourself instead then running the script and have fun with it
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  01 January 2004
Hey....uh Mendez im sry but i have no idea what happened in the tutorial that you posted. Could you please explain to me exactly what he did to get that result?...what is normal mapping? Reminds me how much i have ahead of me and how much i need to learn lol. Thanks.

Attila
 
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