View Full Version : Normal maps

12-18-2005, 02:17 AM
Hi, does anybody know how it's possible to use normal maps in LW7,5?

jin choung
12-18-2005, 03:05 AM
do a search on marvin landis either on this board or on flay...

he has a free lw plugin that allows you to render normal maps properly.


jin choung
12-18-2005, 03:28 AM
to create them too... it relies on a free applet from ATI that allows you to encode the difference between a high poly and low poly mesh into a normal map.

actually, there's a nice freebie app called ORB that basically does the same thing (compare a high poly mesh to a low poly mesh and encode the difference into a normal map). you can generate a normal map there and then render in lw using marvin landis' plugin.

for orb, just look up orb and normal map in google. oh, and orb can also generate a nice grayscale displacement map too.


p.s. especially with zbrush, there's a tendency to think of normal maps as really exotic stuff that only expensive apps can properly deal with but that's not true and there are a lot of free apps from ati and other places that can provide all your normal mapping needs.

heck, it's just recently that zbrush released a plugin that will allow two unrelated meshes (that is, two meshes that are not connected by a history) to be used to generate a normal map... but that's been possible with both orb and the ati app for a long time now.

12-18-2005, 11:08 AM
Hi Jin, long time no speak!

I would add: Make sure you use the TB Normal Shader, because if you are going to apply Bones or displacements to your model with normal maps, TB's shader is the ONLY way to get it working.

12-18-2005, 12:59 PM
Simply Lightwave.com (http://www.simplylightwave.com) has a decent tutorial on how to make normal maps for LW. Here is a link to the tutorial. (http://www.simplylightwave.com/movie_pages/tutorial.mhtml?tut_id=517)

Hope this helps. :)

12-19-2005, 03:08 AM
Ok now i'll check...
In few days i'll post someting!
Thank you to all!

jin choung
12-21-2005, 05:11 PM
howdy blabberlicious!

thanks for the tip. i remember marvin landis was having issues with rendering deforming meshes with his plugin (issue of worldspace normal maps vs. tangent space i think) but i never new what became of that.

tb it is!


02-23-2006, 08:16 PM

I'm trying out ZBrush for Normal Map creation, and using TB's Normal Map shader in Lightwave. The results look pretty good in still renders but in turn table tests I'm seeing odd self-shadowing problems. I'm not exactly sure what's going on but shadows cast by details in the normal map seem to flicker, and highlights are appearing in odd places (i.e., in details that should be in shadow.) I tested this with different geometry and normal maps exported from ZBrush, and have tried using UV's created in both Lightwave and ZBrush, but I continue to see this problem in my turn table tests.

At first I thought I was pushing the Normal Maps too far from the base geometry, but even when I apply them minimally, I still get these shadow errors.

Has anybody else run into this problem? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.