GIMP Normal Maps

Materials are coming to Second Life™. Part of the feature is Normal Maps. So, if you want to take advantage of the new feature you are going to need to learn how to make Normal Maps. There is a new tutorial that teaches one how to use the free GIMP image editor to make them.

Indigo Mertel Plurked the link. If you’re Plurking, friend Indigo. The video is 23 minutes long.

[youtube 8Jdo3ZmtPWk]

vscorpianc made the tutorial. Vscorpianc has 277 videos on YouTube. It is a nice collection of GIMP and Blender tutorials.

She does an excellent job and speaks very well. None of the umm… errr… uuhh… or false starts and redo’s.

7 thoughts on “GIMP Normal Maps

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  3. I wouldn’t recommend this method at all.

    Never ever make normal mapping from a texture image. Never.
    Just make the real model of it and bake render the normal map, so you can get the “CORRECT” mapping.

    I can’t stress more about it. It’s not just GIMP that I don’t recommend, it’s the method.

    • Greets Nacon
      Materials is something in my list of stuff to learn soon, so i still getting how it works. Why would you recommend make normal maps using the 3d model instead of a texture? This process looks relatively easy and looks good enough for me.

      • Nacon is being a bit elitist. One can make incredible normal and specular maps in 3D modeling programs. The talent needed to do so is different. In some ways less artistic talent is needed. But that is a trade-off requiring more technical modeling and lighting knowledge and talent at the 3D modeling level.

        I think a good artist will use whatever tools work for them. I find it easier to make simple normal maps in PS using the nVidia plugins. Complex maps are easier for me in Blender, but require more time. The model’s complexity can push me to Blender for a more accurate normal map. Or if I already have the model in Blender it may be quicker.

        • Elitist? Maybe… I don’t ever recommend using any plugin or software that render normals from image/photo because the computer don’t actually understand what is in the image when it come to object’s depth and realism. Same thing with bump map method.

          However, if you can’t render it from 3d model, you should try drawing it in greyscale height map and have different tool that could render this into normals mapping.

          Kitsbits had made a nice article addressing this issue. They’re good read.
          http://www.katsbits.com/tutorials/textures/how-not-to-make-normal-maps-from-photos-or-images.php

          For a good information about rendering from models, Polycount is a holy grail for this kind of stuff.

          http://wiki.polycount.com/NormalMap/

          I can’t count how many times I’ve played a “AAA” video games that has poor-effort on some of the normals mapping textures. Make me cringes each time I see it.

          • Most people can’t see the difference between sans-serif and serif fonts much less the difference in end-render of normal maps. So, you are among the few that notice.

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