Normal Map Camera - on Facebook, can't find good website*

Just saw a amazing demo, where you move a lamp around, and record using a tripod and get a diffuse and a normal map.

the video is on facebook…


Sounds like structure from shading.

Interesting, but there is a long way and a lot of manipulations after the capture to make these textures usable in 3d. Still better than creating the bump from a diffuse picture anyway!

looks like an automation from this very old tutorial on how to create normal maps

I used that technique a couple times. it works, but it’s a bit of a pain in the ass to setup.

There’s nothing especially great about this. Any camera with enough resolution can do this, the algorithm to reconstruct normals from images with lights at certain positions has been known for a very long time. All they’ve done is package up what thousands of artists have had saved as an action in Photoshop for years.

What’s special is that everyone can carry it in the pocket…

The app is still under development but a beta will be released very soon! Follow us on facebook for regular updates.

I think it is the reason you can’t find more information on that.

So can anyone with a mirrorless camera and a flashlight… or even a smart phone and a flashlight.

Still, it’s seems easy to use, all integrated, and you see the results quickly vs bringing a video back to a workstation and doing the conversion after the fact.

except for the tripod you’ll need to use to keep everything aligned.

Be nice if they could automate the seemless part as well.

I wonder if you could use 2 drones, and normal map/diffuse map a whole environment, like a forest, or a warehouse etc…
while also gathering the geometry**

a ‘glow drone’ and a ‘observer drone’…

If you expect the drones to do that technique on every surface, then it would be rather impractical to do it for pretty much anything more complex than an empty room with four walls (and then you would have the issue of keeping them perfectly aligned with the surface while keeping them steady).

I wouldn’t expect to see it as possible for a forest environment for instance (too many arbitrary surfaces with arbitrary angles and shapes). For stuff like that, there’s already technology in the works that can literally translate a bunch of photographs into fully textured 3D scenes.

Obviously not working very well at all if the diffuse map has that much shading left in it…

Looks to be operator/user error and poor use of lighting rather than anything wrong with the application.