At work with no blender, but the following idea popped in… You know how you can use an object/mesh to make a indent/impression/cutout in another object with the Boolean tool. Can you do similare to create a normal map texture ? Create an object and use that object to create the depths/vallies/peeks of a normal texture map ?
Well… Group operations and unit operations don’t really fall in the same ‘team’… Can you elaborate?
I think Baking a Normal image is what im looking for, gonna give it a try when i have some time.
But… i made this in Gimp (image editing software like PhotoShop for those who dont know) and was wondering if i could do the following in blender… Make a plane, extrude to a thickness, make a mesh shape like the Yin-Yang, boolean the yin-yang into the plane, do a little sculpturing and then make my normal map from that plane. From what i read, its Baking while in Cycles.
Maybe this great guide from Vincent Joyal helps you:
Yup, Baking is probably your best option, at least the easiest.
If you’re into math, you might also want to look at ‘Signed Distance Functions’… It’s not so straigth forward as each primitive shape has its own equations, but it’s possible to do boolean operations with them. Then is just a matter of creating a Normal vector map from the final signed distance field.