Sword and Shield 2.0

I made a sword and shield a LONG time ago, and I’m back with a revision.

Just started this a few days ago, and I have a few good ideas for the detail.

However I do need help with the Normal Map bits of this. I’m using GIMP to hand-generate the normalmaps, because I’ve tried doing that via Blender [didn’t turn out to well]

Basic idea is to make some scratches and small details like that in the sword, and the outer metal area of the shield.

I know how to work normal maps and everything like that now (yay) however, I need some helpful advice as to, if anybody else generates normals by hand via Gimp or Photoshop, what is your method of doing fine scratches in metal?

I know of two methods: One - Generate Noise and motion blur it at [X Degree] Angle. or, Two: Do the scratches the hard way with a 1px Soft/Hard brush.

The models are pretty basic - made mainly for experimenting with Normalmaps on low-poly models.

Here’s the sword and shield:


I’ll be tinkering with specular lighting, and a few other techniques with these, but I like to focus at the task at hand. Don’t want to get to far ahead of myself.

Critique, advice, comments, all welcome on anything I mentioned, and welcome on the models themselves. Don’t be shy about it.

Don’t get confused between normal maps and bump maps. Normal maps usually need to be calculated in a 3d software, Blender for instance can bake high poly detail onto a lower poly mesh thus generating a normal map, and it comes out as a colorband from green to red. Bump maps are black and white, white being raised detail, and black sunk in.

Gimp will create Normal maps, it has an awesome normal map plugin. Just apply the filter to an image and it does an amazingly good job of turning it into a normal map.

I like to use the airbrush in gimp with opacity set to about 60% and black, and for the brush shape I like to use something without regular edges. The galaxy brushes seem to do quite nicely, just scaled down to the size of line I need.

Sweet! That’s really good to know. Thanks charlesc.

Good stuff! Much better than my own sword and shield when I started out with blender.