Why does my normal map fail?

Hi All,

I downloaded the nVidia normal photoshop plugin.

It is supposed to take a color image and make a normal map out of it.

I tried one of my textures and I am attaching it.

I open Blender 2.48 and delete the default cube and add a plane.
I create a new material and add the normal map as a texture image.
I leave the plane as flat orco mapped.
I enable the normal button and make sure it is set to tangent space.
I also change the map to tab so it is using Nor instead of Col.

This produces nothing. Why doesn’t my normal map work?


I’m pretty sure normal maps only work with UV coordinates.

Interesting… I found your map works when applied to a cube; and even then it was in the GLSL mode, not the final render. Not sure why.

But yeah, ndsguyxtreme is correct. If you go into edit mode for the plane, hit U for “unwrap” it will create a UV layout (no need to adjust as a plane automatically unwraps to fill the whole space). The map then works for all (GLSL and final render).

A side note: I think your map isn’t quite right in that the bump lights from odd directions. This is probably due to Blender normal maps setting which colour lights which direction from other conventional programs which your Nvidia PhotoShop plugin may be designed for. There was a node filter fix for this but I’m not sure where I saw it.

The UV does work.

Dang, I was so proud of myself at making a parametric plane. I created a curve circle, selected all the points and pressed V-Key to make them all hard angles. This gave me a plane. I rotated the verticies in sub-object mode 45 degrees to align it to the grid. This gave me a plane I could use extrude and bevel on. But there is no way to UV map a curve. So normal maps won’t work with this technique.

Dang I miss my edit mesh modifier from 3DSMax. It is a great modifier, that should be part of blender. It would solve a lot of problems, this one included. (No UVs for curves) Once you apply it to a modifier stack, it turns the object into a mesh. But you can still edit the parameters lower in the stack. It presents the current object as a mesh to the system. Kind of like on-the-fly convert command that only needs updated when a parameter is altered lower in the stack.

Cylindrical projection? or have I misunderstood? Blender has some of the best UV remapping tools I’ve seen anywhere. (Maya graduate)

Yeah. My bugbear is how Blender bevel is so crappy, but few who never use anything else ever understand.


The UV tools only work on mesh object, as far as I can tell…?

Try this Create a new bezier circle. Put the circle in edit mode TAB-Key and press the U-Key. No unwrap menu appears? So the only option I have with mapping a curve is ORCO that is the default. (perhaps Glob) This does allow me to add a texture to the circle using flat mapping. But normal mapping requires UV, so I can not use normal mapping on this circle until I convert it to a mesh. At that point I have lost the paremetric ability to tweak and adjust the bevel and extrude.

Oh righty… yes curves are not mesh and only one is UVable… I see what you mean now.
I guess you could use the convert function when you are done, though as this would prevent further curve edits… would be a nice script to add.

It really is not a big deal at this time, but when all parameters become animatable, these kinds of issues will have to be addressed.

Imagine being able to animate the extrude and bevel of an object.:o

Absolutely. That’s actually relevant to my own argument (think I made a few enemies bringing that up on one thread) about the triangle faces now being introduced with the “new improved” bevel. Organics need bevels as well, and even hard surface modeling is very difficult to bevel nicely with the current implementation (to the point of may as well just manually insert edgeloops).

I have made bevels on organic objects before, sure it’ll produce triangles but I just merge two of the verticies and the triangle disappears. Also if you end up with two triangles next to each other, just convert them to a quad.

If you wanted deforming mesh modifiers, have you tried Curve, Simple deform, lattic ect… There’s a bevel modifier too.

Tanks, but this is not a time-efficient solution for even moderately detailed models.