Added by on 2016-01-12

Using Normal Maps – Part 1 – Introduction

In this tutorial, you learn about the benefits of using normal maps to provide detail without the overhead of added geometry. It’s a technique used mostly for gaming but can also be applied to architectural visualization or in any situation where interactive playback is required.

Using Normal Maps – Part 2 – High Poly Models

In this video, you explore the high poly components that make the various parts of the column. You learn how they were built and what other alternatives there are to creating them. You also learn about Floater objects, which are meant to provide a very efficient technique to projecting normal maps.

Using Normal Maps – Part 3 – Low Poly Models

In this video, you extract low-poly models from their respective high-poly counterparts.

Using Normal Maps – Part 4 – Unwrapping

In this video, you unwrap the texture coordinates on the low-poly column, in preparation to extract normal maps.

Using Normal Maps – Part 5 – Packing UVs

In this video, you adjust the UV clusters to minimize distortion and then you pack them into the UV area.

Using Normal Maps – Part 6 – Render to Texture

In this video, you extract normal map information through a process called Render to Texture. In doing so, you will render the high poly geometry data onto a map type that you then use to sell the illusion of high detail on low poly objects.

Using Normal Maps – Part 7 – Putting it Together

In this video, you experiment with a scene mostly based on the low poly column you created with the help of carefully applied normal maps. The scene has 60 such columns and a few additional models created the same way to make a full architectural structure. The resulting scene has a very reasonable 80k poly count rather than several millions.

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