Render Normal map

Hey guys!

What is the node setup to render a normal map in cycles or Blender internal?


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Blender render - connect normal map to material, set to appropriate texture coordinates (UVs ?), in Image Sampling enable ‘Normal Map’ and set influence to geometry

Cycles, connect texture node (set to Non Color Data) to a Normal Map node (enable Tangent Space and select UV map) and connect this to your shader vector input

Hey Richard. Thanks for the answer.

I should be more specific. I have a geometry made and i want to render a normal map shader. Like suzane below.

And i will use the same rendered norma map in blender…later.



Alternatively, in the properties panel under Shading, enable Matcaps, select the normal map matcap, then use the opengl render to render your scene. If you want a black background just change it to black or whatever colour you want

Thank you both!

In the end i used this node setup.

Didn’t know the mat cap method.

Thanks guys!

Take care.


I still think its not quite correct.

This is GL rendered_matcap.

This is rendered by cycles. (node setup posted before)

If anyone s got a clue…


The OpenGL rendition of the normal coordinates is more correct in terms of tangent-space normal mapping. The normal information you get from Cycles is way too saturated to work as a texture.

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I suppose this depend on how conversions are done and the way you look at the resulting image.
This is as close as i could get:
Pay attention to Scene Color Management.

Edit: actually it’s much simpler and precise this time:
Color Management -> Display device - None.

Quite complex though, I doubt that he’s going to want to go through that much of a setting up phase before he can render his first normal map (most artists these days expect normal map generation in a few clicks).

Thanks for the help guys!

I remember setting normal material in 2.4× years ago but i cannot find the tutorial.

I will use GL werion its simple and it works. Its a bit anoying that normal pass outputs wrong normal map.

Im on a deadline and i just freaked a bit not finding a solution quickly. So i made this post.

Thanks again.

Take care.

You can render out the normal pass and output the normals as you want with this node system as well as turn off colour management

The colour in the two mix nodes are 0.5, 0.5, 0.5


normal_render.blend (120 KB)

Hey guys!

Im still struggling with normal map. It is still incorrect. I have uploaded a blend file. Its the Richards file with render setup and test object in scene.

I cannot open your file at the moment but looks like you haven’t turned off colour management in the Scene settings. Change it from sRGB to None

I really forgot to do that. But now normal colors are more saturated but result is the same.

You are using a normal map with a displace modifier. The displace modifier is looking for a black and white map to indicate depth not normals. A normal map is only to fake dispalcement

Omg i didnt know that. Thanks. Back to the drawing board :stuck_out_tongue:

You could render a normalised depth map


depth_render.blend (114 KB)

In 2.8, the setup below seems to work.

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Might want to have a muted invert node on the G channel to remind yourself of swizzle.

Thanks for the input. I guess flipping is necessary for unreal and cryengine, right ? I will use normal map with unity.