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View Full Version : nDo or Shadermap? Any one used both?



djwaterman
06-01-2014, 05:41 AM
I'm currently playing around with a trial version of nDo although I was initially looking at ShaderMap. I really liked what I saw on the Shadermap site but know I'm thinking that nDo could be the better choice, considering also the new suite of products that will be bundled from Quixel (http://dev.quixel.se/).

Has anyone here have experience using both these products, I've been using that old free nDo script for my normal maps up until now, but I think I want to get more serious with my surfaces.

MarcusM
06-01-2014, 08:31 AM
I'm using CrazyBump, and it's faster way fom me.

Greenlaw
06-01-2014, 11:12 AM
I've been using Shadermap (http://shadermap.com/home/)for many years for anything from mapping cities and building facades, creature skins and internal sections, and spaceships and other hardware, using photos of real subjects and locations. It's also useful for generating normal maps for hand-painted textures, like the spiraling tiled floor in our 'B2' excerpt from last year. The tool comes through in a pinch, and with my tight deadlines, I get into a lot of tight pinches.

ShaderMap is also very affordable--it used to cost about $20, but even at the current price of $40, this software is a bargain. Highly recommended. :thumbsup:

G.

djwaterman
06-02-2014, 10:31 AM
I've installed both the demo versions for Shadermap and nDo, I found nDo got really slow as my image document got more layers, it was 300 dpi but still, I wasn't expecting performance issues. I'm now going to work through the Shadermap process and see if it feels more stable.

Greenlaw
06-02-2014, 11:18 AM
I haven't used nDo but ShaderMap is pretty fast. For the most part, it's a one-click process to batch generate normal, AO, displacement, and spec maps, and processing takes only about a minute to complete for most large images. Naturally, you want to feed it appropriate images but it works surprisingly well even for images that really shouldn't work well. If you want to tweak texture settings, you can preview the effects on primitives and custom objects and interactively check the effect of individual properties or all combined.

I find Shadermap very efficient for getting decent results when I don't have much time in my schedule.

G.

CaptainMarlowe
06-02-2014, 02:18 PM
I'm using bitmap2material from Allegorithmic, which does the same task, I guess. I'm very happy with it (ddl was not for me as I don't use photoshop, and shader map is windows only, I guess, and I'm on Mac). The indie licence can be used commercially as long as you don't make more than 10k revenue per year with it.

djwaterman
06-03-2014, 06:07 AM
But you need Modo correct? And Substance designer as well right? In the mean time I've just started exploring the NVIDIA normal map generator plugin for PShop (free) and I think that turns out a very nice normal map, although the interface is a little academic, so there really are some good options here. I think I will get Shadermap after I've fiddled about with it and know how to use it, and I will also get the Quixel suite when my trial runs out. Both plugins seem like they have their benefits.

Danner
06-03-2014, 06:35 AM
I've installed both the demo versions for Shadermap and nDo, I found nDo got really slow as my image document got more layers, it was 300 dpi but still, I wasn't expecting performance issues. I'm now going to work through the Shadermap process and see if it feels more stable.

You just touched a pet peeve or mine and I haven't had my afternoon coffee... :D

300 dpi is pretty much meaningless when you talk about image size, it's the print resulution per inch, not the size of the image. So 300dpi can be a one inch image of only 300 pixels or a 12 foot tall wall print with an insane amount of pixels. 2k, 4k, 5k, etc would be clearer.

rcallicotte
06-03-2014, 06:48 AM
No. You just need BitmaptoMaterial. That's all. Substance is for creating textures. BitmaptoMaterial creates stuff just like ShaderMap. The new Painter from Allegorthmic lets you paint on materials and textures (etc.).

But, you don't need any other software for these things from Allegorithmic to work.



But you need Modo correct? And Substance designer as well right? In the mean time I've just started exploring the NVIDIA normal map generator plugin for PShop (free) and I think that turns out a very nice normal map, although the interface is a little academic, so there really are some good options here. I think I will get Shadermap after I've fiddled about with it and know how to use it, and I will also get the Quixel suite when my trial runs out. Both plugins seem like they have their benefits.

CaptainMarlowe
06-03-2014, 01:05 PM
No. You just need BitmaptoMaterial. That's all. Substance is for creating textures. BitmaptoMaterial creates stuff just like ShaderMap. The new Painter from Allegorthmic lets you paint on materials and textures (etc.).

But, you don't need any other software for these things from Allegorithmic to work.

You beat me to it. And I'm using mainly B2M and substance designer (for other tasks), but I don't even have MODO.

djwaterman
06-05-2014, 01:01 AM
Well nDo suddenly has decided it wont load so I've uninstalled it, life is too short to deal with flaky software. I think I'll be using shadermap, the NVIDIA plugin and the old free nDo script for my normals from now on, a pity.

Greenlaw
06-05-2014, 09:19 AM
I think you'll like ShaderMap. I haven't used the old Nvidia plug-in since I got ShaderMap many years ago--the normal map output is just more easily tweakable in ShaderMap, plus it outputs all that other good stuff (AO, Displacement, Spec, etc.,) at the same time. Also, there are tools for mixing maps and painting on the images in ShaderMap too--I don't use these so much but they can be useful when you need them.

G.

djwaterman
06-06-2014, 01:30 AM
While searching further I discovered another cool little free app called njob (http://charles.hollemeersch.net/njob/). It's really basic and fast and I got a really nice AO map from a normal map with it.

So the free apps are;

njob

NVIDIA normal map generator

and the free nDo script (if you can find it).

djwaterman
06-06-2014, 01:41 AM
Found it here (http://eat3d.com/blog/metalliandy/ndo-normal-map-creation-script-photoshop).

122191

CaptainMarlowe
06-06-2014, 04:23 AM
You also have smart normal :
http://www.smart-page.net/smartnormal/

But it's limited to 2k textures

djwaterman
06-06-2014, 08:20 AM
I forgot about that one, it had a really good version that you could use inside After Effects, but then AE stopped using their pixel bender filters and so that put an end to that. After Effects has a lot of handy tools for creating grids and pattern type textures, stuff that's not so easy to do in Photoshop.

djwaterman
06-06-2014, 10:41 AM
I'll add this one here for the Gimp people, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Jdo3ZmtPWk