normal map and color

let say that you make a normal map from a 3D model or an image

you then get a bluish picture saved as a PNG or other format for this normal color map!

now when you create a new file you add a plane and add to it this normal map and set some NOR value to get the 3D effect

butr how do you put back the color on it ?
do you have to do a UV mapping or can you do this with normal mapping and what settigns are required to get good results?

is this applicable to other type of normal map the other type than color coded bluish map ?

happy blendering

You can add colour back in the usual way you would add to any object, just add a plain material/ add a node texture / UV map and apply a texture etc. The normal map is applied to the normals only, you do not set col in the map to so it has no impact on the objects colour.


ok UV world is aonther world

if you ahve sample file would like to see it work with UV
object like a sinple plane to start with!

now i’m was talking about a sinmple plane object on which i added a normal map
but then what how do you get the color back on ?

see pic

cannot see pic
forum working so slow this morning like 9.6 KB / sec

hope it comes back to nrmal speed soon !

thabnsk for help continue later when speed is back at high speed!


first one is with only first texture activated and color is there but no normal map

second pic is with 2 texture activated and loosing the color in render
but normal map i included
looks like the normal is overriding everything else ?

i can get the color back if i set no rgb and set a color brownish
but does not look very good see pic

Maybe you’ve got your normal map texture set to Col too?

For the record, this isn’t how normal maps work at all. The Photoshop/GIMP filter just converts brigthness to ‘height’ (so to speak, because a normal map only shows angles). A dark value will be an indent, a bright value will stick out. That’s why using real photos generally doesn’t work for the process - in your case, the normal map thinks that the nose, for example, is much further away than the sky - the sky is brighter, after all!

A basic colour and normal map applied to a plane. Blend File: col_nor.blend (197 KB)


but what about ordinary mapping i tough it could be done that way too!

and how did you do your normal map is it with another soft ?

i tried if possible to do it with nodes in blender
even if i have to make a displacement map first then do the normal map from this displacement map

i know it’s takes longer time but it can work ok i guess

i have less problem with bump map then normal map in blender
butr even bump map are gong to be upgraded in 2.5 should work even better then what we have right now!

also for the UV thing

it means that for a more complicated model you need to unwrap - which could be lot of work tweeking !


your right i forgot to remove the col from normal map

so here is the pic with the col off

but again this normal map was done with material node only
no baking or GIMP invloved here


i’ll suggest for 2.5 to get the bas relief nodes
which can take a color pic and make and equivalent normal or bump map directly
it would make blender more independant of other soft to make normal maps!

happy blendering

i tried to re apply the UV way but some problems here

see pic

how do you set up the UV - any uwrap to do here ?

got some dark diagonal bar in middle of pic ?

any idea what’s wrong with this pic ?

the only difference i see is the map input panel where the left top right is orange and as UV ?
dont know why mine is not like that ?


Which may work or not. You need to get a basic grip on bump mapping and normal mapping, also the different types of normal maps - especially camera spaced and tangent spaced normal maps. Your normal map is a blue image, but it does not contain any real 3D information.

And don’t be afraid of UV mapping, especially if you’re only baking normal maps the unwrapping is often very easy to do. And often you need UV mapping anyway, so this is not an extra step.

i can play with bunmp map no prolbems at all!

but with normal map it’s a hec of a lot more complicated thatn bum mapping ?

don’t know why !

it took me ayear before getting a sample file with a normal map and it was very sensitive to parameters settings

i still don’t like the normal mapping in blender and would preder to see the bas relief nodes be implemented that seemst to give very good results easily so it would be a good alternative to normal mapping in blender !

i may also have some problems with the graphic intel G33 chip and this may influence what i see as normal map may be?

but anyway that’s only my personnel point of view for normal mapping

i still need to get that uv normal map to work here !

happy blendering

Because a normal map would require some real 3D information. If a program derives 3D information from a 2D image it may or may not work. If you’re lucky it works well and you have a realistic result. But often you get the wrong normals and the image looks worse than without the normal map. This is not a problem in Blender, but simply the problem that you need to get some real 3D information anywhere in the image.

The normal map you showed in the blueish image is simply wrong. The normals are pointing in the wrong direction in some places. If you want a real normal map you would have to rebuild the object in 3D and create a normal map from it.

If you only want pseudo 3D why don’t you use Bumpmapping?

well this is a case that the only way to get it is with normal mapping

mind you you may have to use the color image in GIMP to get the normal map

unless there is a way to do the same for bump mapping with color image which would be nice but never seen this before !

i use bump map often but sometimes you don’t really have a choice
i mean with color picture no choice the only available thing rightnow is with normal map
but if we had the bas relief nodes this could be use easily i guess
and faster with no outside program like GIMP or other to make a normal map

happy blendering