Saturday, February 16, 2013

Normal map test and research

Polycount has an amazing collection of tutorials and descriptions in regards to Normal Maps. Their Wiki section helped me understand the very basics, so I have full control over what I do. It takes a lot of practice and I will need to keep producing assets and bump into issues to eventually learn what works for me and what I need to do to achieve specific requirements.

One of the very first tests involved creating a basic, scope-like 3D model. I wanted to achieve the small details through Normal Maps. Areas which are completely flat physically will look like they have small extrusions and details. In these details, you can see light shining in and interacting as you rotate the camera. The surface is flat physically, but the Normal Map tells those surfaces how to look and how to react to light. This saves on resources as you do not need to use high polygon counts. That is why computer games can have models in them which look super-detailed.



The upcomming posts will showcase work that puts me in a "real-life" position to test these theories out. I will look for reference images to create assets to see what issues I bump into and how I can resolve them.

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