Normal mapping in EI?

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Old 01 January 2006   #1
Normal mapping in EI?

Is anyone currently using normal maps in EI to speed up rendering? If so, how are you generating your maps? Any gotchas?

Al
 
Old 01 January 2006   #2
I don't use them much to be honest, i think the normal map's main application is in games, they can look nice though.

I used Nvidia's PS plugin to create the normal maps for these materials -

http://www.electro303.com/electro30...age_mat001.html

Robert did the trees

Reuben
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Old 01 January 2006   #3
I'm getting ready to work on a project that has a city flyover and I'm looking for ways to cut down on rendering time because I know the deadline is going to be tight when the project finally gets rolling. Figured I might be able to turn some architectural detail into maps to make things roll a bit faster.

Thanks for the link.

Al
 
Old 01 January 2006   #4
If you're a Mac user this little app is great for creating maps...

http://homepage.mac.com/nilomarabese/Menu13.html
 
Old 01 January 2006   #5
Al, by the time you've created all the maps it might just endup being quicker to "let it render".


Reuben
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Old 01 January 2006   #6
Normal maps are very usefull for many things.

My latest viz needed a lot of "bush walls". I modeled the bushes with the old EIM and with the gorgeous powers of TreePro. Combined the models, rendered, and created the NMap which I retouched in Photoshop using direct RGB value-brushes.

A single row of bushes was more than one million poly, and there was 18-19 bush walls surrounding some swimming pools (guess the possible rendertime without the NMaps). So, ok, I modeled a very simple bush-like shape and used the NMaps... the result was perfect.

Extra tip:

For the Occlusion pass (using the old Occ shader) I connected the Transparency/Clip and Diffuse render flags to get the Occlusion also "clipped" and coincident with the bushes. Very cool results!
 
Old 01 January 2006   #7
Hi David ! good to see you here

Well i see in that case how the NM was put to good use, depends on the project i guess.

about the occ shader, would you have not got similar results with GI ?, i always seem to get faster and nicer results anywhere i would have previously used the occ shader.


Reuben
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Old 01 January 2006   #8
Thanks for the suggestions guys,

David is right on with what I had in mind. Greenery and architectural detail is where I'm looking to save. If I end up saving a 30 seconds per frame over 2000 frames when I'm rendering it's absolutely worth the extra time to setup. For this job I'm guessing I might save even more than that. I'll have to do some testing to see what I can expect.

Al
 
Old 01 January 2006   #9
Originally Posted by Reuben.F: Hi David ! good to see you here


Hi Reuben!

Of course, the GI is much much better and faster.
But I can make some tweaks to the Occ shader for some special targets
 
Old 01 January 2006   #10
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