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View Full Version : Normal Pass - looking for more info?



WaxSteel
11-10-2007, 06:59 PM
I've been producing some animations (about 10 shots) of animated rolling balls that will be rendered out & then handed off to a flame artist for compositing.

I originally offered to give them multiple passes (diffuse, specular, shadow, etc), via the render buffer export filter, but they've come back & said that they will be using the Sapphire plugin & would like a "normal pass" also. First time I've come across this & after perusing the two well named threads here...

http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62712&highlight=normal+pass

http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62957&highlight=normal+pass

...I've got a render that makes the diffuse surface of the ball look like its a normal map, but what's the preferred way of exporting this out to something the flame guy can use. Does it have to be an hdr ? - the diffuse shading output buffer just gives me a flat black & white render of the ball.

I'd be much obliged if anyone whos done this before can give me some pointers.

Sensei
11-10-2007, 08:40 PM
Try TrueArt's Node Library Normal Pass node & shader..

toby
11-10-2007, 10:06 PM
An rgb output should be fine, that's all it is

StereoMike
11-11-2007, 06:42 AM
You can do funky stuff with a normal pass and a compositing app.
e.g. reflections in post.
I never did it myself but i watched a guy doing all kinds of magic with fusion. If I remember right he used a floating point format to get the data out of xsi.

mike

WaxSteel
11-11-2007, 07:41 AM
Floating point. If so what format would that be? Open Exr, HDR.....any others?

toby
11-11-2007, 11:59 AM
Check the rendered image with Image Viewer FP - if it goes above 100% you need to save it as exr, but I don't think it does. Exr is a great format to use as standard anyway.

WaxSteel
11-13-2007, 04:58 PM
Okay, I've got True Arts Normal Pass node working & outputting a normal pass via dpont's Store Extra buffers & then to dpont's Node Image filter in the Image processing tab. This gives me the Normal pass I wanted. This is great but I also want to output buffers for the rgb, shadow, luminosity, etc & was wondering if this is easy to do also via the nodes?

Nodes are a lot easier to cut & paste than the LW Buffer Export's in the Image processing tab (I have a lot of scenes to setup the same way). I've tried to do the whole thing using nodes but I cant get them to output in the same way that the Normal pass is. The Luminosity is just black & the RGB is overlaid with the colours from the normal pass!!!

Am I doing something obviously wrong here?

Failing all else I guess I could get the normal pass via the nodes & the rest via the standard LW Render Buffer Export in the Image processing tab.

WaxSteel
11-13-2007, 05:05 PM
here's the Image Filter Nodal setup. Slot 1 is being filled by the normal pass in the object surface settings. I'm just trying to populate the rest with the buffers I want.

StereoMike
12-12-2007, 08:57 AM
Hi Waxsteel, isn't your node setup torpedoing the advantages of this normal pass stuff? I thought you use the 3d package only for rendering the normal pass and do the rest (applying light, ovelay of color pass, maybe reflections) in post e.g. fusion or after effects.
It seems to me that you use a normal node and apply something in Lightwave to it, so you end with the final image out of lightwave? Did I get that wrong?

thanks,
mike

Sensei
12-13-2007, 02:39 AM
Store Extra Buffer is not real node, but saver..