Normal mapping and CVS

Okay, I’d really like to try some normal mapping experiments in Blender, especially on character heads. From what I understand, tangent space normal mapping still doesn’t work fully, as of 2.42.

I’ve seen in different threads how people have had success with nornal mapping using ‘CVS’ builds of Blender. Where do I get such a build? Do I need to ‘compile’ it? Will it run in a windows environment?

Get it in the Test Builds forum at


Thanks BgDM, now I can get going!

What is the improvement with this kind of normal mapping? is this like Paralax Mapping? How do I use it?

It’s the current technology in the games field. Detail from a high-poly model is mapped (via a 2d image map) onto a low-poly model. That low-poly model thus renders with lighting information from the high-poly. Tangent-space (dot3) mapping is the version used on character meshes, or other ‘deformable’ assets. Blender currently has issues displaying dot3 maps correctly.

It works! I tried it last with 2.41, but 2.42 seems to have it cracked.

Here’s a test using the ‘diablo’ model from the examples given with Xnormal (All renders done in Blender):

First the low poly mesh

Then the normal map

Then the colour and spec maps

…and just for comparison, a render with no normal map

…so you can see there’s quite a hit there from the normal map, making a 1752 triangle mesh look a LOT more detailed.