View Full Version : Normal maps and LW 9.2

07-01-2007, 01:02 PM
Just wanted to ask if anyone is having luck doing normal mapping in 9.2. I tried using the OSx plugs found here http://amber.rc.arizona.edu/lw/normalmaps.html but it just crashes the app. Any tips or tricks in getting this stuff to work?

:thumbsdow :thumbsdow :thumbsdow

07-01-2007, 01:33 PM
If you're using nodes it's pretty basic. Just plug the normal map node in to the normal input.

07-01-2007, 01:44 PM
actually I haven't used nodes very much at all......can you please explain a little more.

Basically I have my high poly object and my low poly object - where do I go from here...thanks

07-01-2007, 02:20 PM
If you are searching a way to bake hires to lowres normal map,
you could try Normal Cast node with the Surface Baking Camera,
Normal Cast is included in the DP Kit package:


07-01-2007, 02:49 PM
thanks I'll give it a try

07-03-2007, 05:18 PM
Hey all, I am trying DP KIT normal cast nnode right now to get a fairly good normal map going but my renders look like crap. Anyone had success, if so, please post your setup....thanks

07-03-2007, 05:30 PM
Do you mean your renders look like crap when you apply the normal map to the low rez object and render?

Sometimes you have to invert the Y channel to get them working properly.

07-03-2007, 05:37 PM
yes, that's what I mean................Andy do you use DP KIT?

07-04-2007, 05:31 AM
The invert axis options is not important for the quality of
normal map, since this could be also set in LW Normal node,
It is not possible to optimize the main setting without
seeing your geometry, the "Distance" of node and also
the distance of SB are main things to tweak, the distance
of the node is for reaching the hi-res mesh, the SB distance
is for reaching the Normal Cast mapped low-res mesh.
Be sure to set the hires "Unseen by Camera" and
the lowres "Unseen by ray".
If you still get unexpected result, post your two meshes
here, may be we could help you.


07-04-2007, 06:17 AM
Try this simple 9.2 scene, Normal Cast and SB Camera
have default parameters:


07-04-2007, 06:18 AM
...And here is the "crap":


07-04-2007, 06:58 AM
yes, that's what I mean................Andy do you use DP KIT?

I've never needed to create normal maps until now actually. All I can say is thank goodness for Denis. I know there was a plugin that let you create them in modeler but I'm not sure how well it works or worked.

07-04-2007, 07:14 AM
It is better for seam in this atlas UV map to add
some border in SB Camera:

The advantage to bake in Layout is that you can
include also procedural bump mapping of
the hi-res to the low-res, or simply the bump of
the low-res to its own UV map.


07-04-2007, 07:36 AM
In the low-res sphere surface, I have setup the LW NormalMap node:
And the current Image node + Object To Tangent node:

This last node setup is better, even with external
baked normal map.


07-04-2007, 07:40 AM
Denis I'll keep trying to adjust those settings and if I still can't get it then I'll send you the scene to look at, if you have time. Thanks for the help.

10-16-2008, 02:11 PM

To quote from your website. "Projection Distance" is the distance between start ray and spot world position along its smoothed normal, it should be modified in function of model-size"

Can you give an example of what you mean when you say "it should be modified in function of model-size" I'm having a difficult time understanding how the Projection Distance affects the output.

Thanks for everything,


10-16-2008, 02:31 PM
In some rare cases, the start of the ray, by default 1 meter
distanced from low-res spot, could be under the hi-res surface
and fail to hit this surface, going to infinite (black spot render).

I meter is largely sufficient for most models to bake.


10-16-2008, 07:38 PM
Okay, I got it working now...thanks. One other issue though. I'm trying to run the resulting normal map into your relief map node, but It doesn't seem to be working as well as simply running it from the NewTek's Normal Map node into the Normal input on the surface. Can you offer any tips for getting normal maps into your Relief Map node.


10-17-2008, 06:21 AM
In the DP Kit documentation,
"Works currently with a Normal map 32 bits image (in tangent space)
with depth map stored in alpha channel, selected/loaded in the node panel."

You can get an example of such image,
with "Tile1.tga" in the DP Kit Sample zip.


10-17-2008, 12:29 PM
Okay. I checked out the Tile1.tga image. It was just as you said, a standard RGBA image with the R,G,and B channels carrying the Normal map data and one alpha channel carrying the height data. I set up my own UV mapped image the same way (thanks to your Normal Cast node), but cannot figure out how to plug it into the Relief Map node. The setup shown on your website (see image below) doesn't seem to work for me. If you look at the image(1) node it shows what appears to just be a height map only and not a Normal + height map. Should I simply load the image I created into the Relief Map module itself? Sorry for all the questions, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around all of this.


10-17-2008, 12:56 PM
The rgba image is for "...the nodal panel" not nodal input.


10-17-2008, 01:20 PM
Ah, now I see you did say that in your last post. Sorry about that. Thanks for your patience.