Sculpt normals without SculptMode...

…but with a texture instead.


  • A texture node to enrich the normal map of a game model.
  • Without using Zbrush or SculptMode.


  • Don’t need a high poly mesh, good for slower machines
  • Faster work: no need to set up a mid poly model with a correct edge flow.
  • No Z displacement: the model don’t lie, silhouette and volume are what they are.
  • Enrich normal map without seams problems.

How does it work?

  • A blender file properly set up. A plane with texture paint on. A grey image.
  • A T​exture node transform the painted greyscale in a normal map.


  • A Composite node save the texture in a render.


  • The result must be manually updated to display

Notes: in render panel, do composite must be checked to alow the composite node.

I’m NOT satisfied yet.
What I would like is to paint and see the result real time as if I was using sculpt tool.

BUT unfortunately…

You still have to hit ctrl+F12 ro render the normal map.
And to hit Reload button to display the modification.

Here is a screen cap of the file I am working on.

But the idea is here. Feel free to improve it. I believe that it would be usefull.

You have, perhaps, a blend file to share ?

it calls painting with bumpmaps. And actually it’s pretty common and known technic

[B]@vitos1k Thank you very much for the link, that’s excatly what I was looking for.

@aomeoni here is the file [/B]paintnormal249.blend (205 KB)

If you are curious.
But I think tomorow I will try vistos1k solution.

The video from vitos1k is really the correct way to go about it.
I do have an interest in seeing other ‘solutions’ to problems.
So thanks for the blend