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?

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 -

Robert did the trees

"We're on an express elevator to hell - Going down"

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.

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

"We're on an express elevator to hell - Going down"

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.

"We're on an express elevator to hell - Going down"

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.

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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