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Playing around with normal maps


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This is great Micket. I know it's a lot of tedious work, but you did it quite well.

Now we should also alter the specularmap to give some shininess to some of them.

The drawback are the older computers who can't manage the normalmap shading where may look better with shadowed roofs, but it enhaces for the rest of users.

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I think they still look nice even without shaders. In particular since many models mirror the texture on half the roof, which meant there were baked shadows going both ways.

Now, the problem I tried to correct was that the normal mapping looked weird from one direction. But, even now when there is very little baked shading left, there is still a big difference from where the lighting applies.

It's especially noticeable on roman house that mirrors the roof (ignoring the ugly part in the middle, it's quite different on each side of the building

Light from above:


Light from left:


(the scenario is flipped when i light from the right)

I did some tests with a flat diffuse color to verify that everything was working correctly on the normal map.. aaand well, there doesn't really seem to be anything *wrong* with the normal map

My conclusion is the combination of:

1. Diffuse texture is not properly de-lit: (it's barely visible, but if you look for it, you can tell there are leftover shadows that I didn't get rid of completely)

2. The ambient light in this game is pretty high; Shaded areas barely get much darker. The difference between fully lit, and shaded areas in the normal map is in the same magnitude as the shadows left over in 1.

I'm quite annoyed at how poorly this turned out :/

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I could try rendering a new normalmap based from real geometry placing the tiles following the texture, do you think that may help?

or just actually render the geometry to get a new un-shadowed roof texture?

(the biggest problem with generating the geometry for the roof is that the parallax/heightmap is quite difficult to achieve when baking)

By the way, there's a better way to make the roof without mirroring, since the roof texture tiles, it's just a matter of getting the correct column of tiles where the left-side roof ends.

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Well, i did some tweaks last night, but never got around to post them.


I have considered dropping the existing texture and just make a high poly version to bake from, but that also seemed like a lot of work. But then again, all the time i spent on this it would probably have been faster to just model it directly. (granted, it was a learning experience as well).

So, seeing how you are already well into making an awesome high poly model to possible bake from, I can't help to feel that I've wasted time trying to cut corners (only to end up un-cutting all the corners step by step).

I have diffuse, specular, and normal/displacement maps finished now. I'll upload them to some google drive or something

Edited by Micket
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I had some issues with Gimp that deleted RGB for fully transparent alpha values (even though the PNGs with the option for transparent pixel values selected.)

In the end, I got tired of trying to make it work, so i just changed the darkest alpha (0) to 1/256. No visible difference.

Lets see if this works:


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I don't know what to say about that. They are normal PNGs (unless I made some mistake just before uploading, but they all seem alright to me). I used them in the screenshot above.

I made some improvements to the UV-mapping (and a very tiny amount of mesh tweaking) on the roman civil centre. rome_cc_2.blend and roman_cc.dae are both in google drive folder above.

Left previous, right new


* Adjusting UVs for tiling region

* Layered rocks and avoiding black creases on outer corners (which doens't make much sense)

* Continuous bricks around pillars

Edited by Micket
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Hi. The new texture remove shadows and make the tiles look too bright. I make them darker and with the specular map they look really nice now. Nice and red and very Roman in the game. Great job Micket.






Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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I can use the geometry for any civ roof (and it will be used for seleucids). I have setup the color of the tiles so it's super easy to customize the hue/saturation/value it varies on a small range randomly on each tile.

In resume, I can go any color needed with some little range variation in the color to break repetition.

I'm currently working on a nice parallax map which is harder to do than normalmap since the texture render is made "from an angle" to see better the tiles and the displacement bake can't be done without some tickery.


Here's a test in blender, left is with parallax, right with only normalmap. The texture is still quite high-res so expect less quality. I'm also making the concave tiles a little brighter in GIMP, making the effect of worn and differentiate the tile columns from far away. (Also parallax works differently in blender than in-game, that's why I think it's so dark in blender)


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