Creating Normal Map

January 14, 2011 Filed Under: Tutorials  

Creating Normal Map. The tutorial below shows you how to create normal map for your 3d model. Modern Real-Time application look good, but pre-rendered animations are far ahead in terms of image quality, models complexity and lightning techniques. A great handicap for realtime graphics is the polygon count. RT engines can yield a limited amount of polys at acceptable framerates (25-30fps or more). Many methods have been developed for polygon reduction, but so far, the simplified, or lowpoly, models dont look as nice as the hi-poly ones. Color or bump textures are used to add detail to the models, but the results are far from satisfying.
A recent technology (that will appear in the next generation video games) uses vector normals maps on a lowpoly model to compute what shape his hi-poly relative would have. The technique has many flaws but the quality of the models has made a great leap while keeping the always problematic polygon count low. Starting out as an exporter for ATI’s NormalMapper (a toolset for developers to generate and test normal maps) the plugin has grown to a complete lw solution for rendering lowpoly models with hipoly normal maps.

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