Normal maps

well i know what normal maps are but when are they used. in my reading i have only come across n maps in game models. are n maps used in movies and if so are there specific model n maps are best used for?

sorry if i’m posting in the wrong section.

They are good for small detail like pores of the skin etc. Movies often use displacement map because they are more convincing, but they require more processing grunt. Once the frames are rendered, a movie will play at speed regardless of how long it originally took to process each frame.

normal/bump/displacement/spec maps are use when you don’t want to take the time to render out those details by hand each frame. You can make a single detailed model, use that as the basic for a map & then use a lower quality model for all the rendering. It will go much faster because there’s less geometry involved.