Alternative to Crazy Bump, for just 15$

Not sure if you guys have seen this yet, but MindTex sets out to compete with Crazy Bump and in my opinion does a helluva job, considering the price. I’m just coming back to CG/Blender so I haven’t got to use it a ton yet, but from what I have played with it really seems to operate exactly like Crazy Bump. I’m sure it’s not 100% as well, but seeing as it is still version 1.0 I think it has a ton of potential!

Here is a demonstration from their youtube channel.

Very nice find. I was going to go with CB but now, for $15, I’ll just go with this. It looks like it’s just as good, if not better. I don’t think CB has batch processing does it? I do have questions as to the length of the license.

Darn, no Linux version. I wonder how difficult it is to program these things. Might be a cool GSoC project idea for Blender if it’s manageable.

I think crazybump has much better form analysis. This one seems to just take the desaturated image, blur it on different levels and layer that into the height map.

But crazybump is 20* the price.

Also anyone see a place to invert normal map Y channel?

For normal maps at least, the Blender code already has something similar in the form of one of the nodes available for the texture node trees (the texture building nodes for BI developed by Robin Allen (Frr)).

The normal map it produces however is currently not in the form of a standard OpenGL map, so it might need some tweaks, you would also have to find a way to port it over to the image editor if you want a normal map generator inside of Blender.

Also, for anyone interested in reading up on it a bit, 3d world did a review for this in the Making Robots issue of the magazine. They gave it a 8/10 while comparing it to the top normal mapping programs out there, so while it’s not the best I think for the price it’s great for people not making a living in 3d or just starting out.

blender should have somethink like crazybump… build in that would be so awesome…

Just the invert shape button.

This inverts the entire shape, not just the orientation of green channel.

Yup, that’s the only invert button I could find. I noticed after some experimentation on a few different metal textures I have that I get much better results making them myself in Photoshop. It’s just the time it takes. CrazyBump I think, has better quality detail and if I buy a normalmap generator, CB will be my choice even though it costs more.

Absolutely. I think you can achieve decent manual results with overlay layering, blurs, creative curves on the greyscale image and perhaps other things like edge detectors to build up the definition.

I have thought about this many times before. It would be cool to develop a normal converter node that can convert diffuse images to normal maps in the material editor. I have been trying to figure out a good algorithm but I have not done much yet. Only diffuse->greyscale->adjust contrast/brightness->use as heightmap->generate normals.

But there needs to be some sort tweaking parameters. And a way to set a mask so we dont get the problem where ie. a black label it seen as a cavity in the surface by the diffuse->greyscale conversion.

Generaly i think i will study this… in photoshop curves… and the way to get the same effect like i get from crazy bumbs… and then just we will copy same setup to blender :smiley:

nVidia has an add-on made for Photoshop and Gimp for generating normalmaps with adjustable parameters. And it also works with ATI cards.

I’m kinda new to CG, and blender. Could someone explain how to use MindTex in the blender workflow?

Have a look at this.

When talking about competitors you’d surely need to include nDo. It’s a photoshop plugin but it’s still there for the same reason.
I even think nDO 1 is free?

Oh well 15$ for a standalone normal generator is a real bargain and if it’s a good alt to crazybump them I’m glad for them.
But that’s some agressive pricing compared to crazybump, I wonder what the reason behind that is.

On a more personal note, I’m starting to wonder if blender is turning me into a cheapskate… or I came to blender because of it…

MindTex looks intresting. Personally I use ShaderMap2 for some time now. I bought it back at V1 and recently bought the update.

Without having checked the demo of MindTex, I can fully recommend SM2…

KK, tried the demo, I recommend Shadermap over MindTex.

Shadermap supports to make textures seamless, has some sort of “node” edit system and allows multiple materials.
Furthermore you’ll also find reflection maps in Shadermap additionally to specularity maps. SM also allows to directly open a created map in an image editor and has nice prefixed texture batch export.

I didn’t spent too much time trailing MindTex, one reason is the horrible UI with the blurry fonts and the lack of fullscreen.

thanks rontarrant

that’s exactly what I was looking for.