Author Topic: SP2 Normal channel + hard surface normal textures workflow  (Read 1459 times)

Hi,

I have a question about exporting a normal map with the normal channel being added by default in SP2 in combination with the normal baked map slot.

Let's say I have a texture set where I have 2 layers:

Normal Details
Height Details

In the "Normal Details" layer, I've only painted on the normal channel using the hardsurface normal textures included in SP2.

In the "Height Details" channel, I've only painted on the height channel using the line tool provided by Wes on the forums.

I've baked out a new normal map with these details (by removing the model from the High Poly slot in the baker dialog) following the instructions shown in the following video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0M6PDzxJtWY&index=26&list=PLB0wXHrWAmCx994Cb7iRFSmupYHFw5DTx

I add this new normal map to the texture set baked map normal slot. Using the Viewer Settings and Additional Maps, I can confirm that the new normal map has both layers' information baked in.

However, notice at 3:00 in the video where Wes disables the height layer group so that the information isn't "doubled". If I disable either of my layers, that information is not displayed anymore on the model. It seems like in SP1, if you don't have a normal channel, the map that you add to the baked normal map slot is automatically displayed on the model, which is why you need to disable those layers once you've baked out the new normal map. In SP2, this doesn't seem to be the case.

This is fine, I can keep those layers enabled in order to view them on the model. However, when it comes to exporting the normal map when I'm finished, do I need to disable those layers? When exporting, if I use the converted DirectX Normal map, will it include the baked normal map slot along with both layers' information, meaning the normal and height information will be doubled?
Not sure how to proceed here.

Thanks.

As an update, I was able to display the baked normal map slot by changing the "Normal Mixing" from Replace to Combine (in the TextureSet setting). This displays the newly baked normals even when the 2 layers mentioned in the post above are disabled.

Does this setting also affect the way the normal channel is exported to a texture?

Edit: Yes, that setting affects the way the normal channel is exported. If set to replace, the baked map will not be included. If set to combine, it will be included.

So, to answer my own questions:

1. If I want to include the baked normal map (under Additional Maps in the TextureSet Settings), then I should set the Normal Mixing to "Combine".
2. If I do that, and have the previous detail layers (used to bake the new normal map with the hardsurface normal textures) enabled, then the effect is increased. If I disable those layers with Normal Mixing set to "Combine", then it exports as it should.

This is all done using the Converted Maps: Normal DirectX in the Export Configuration.
Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 10:11:13 pm

To me it looks like you got it right  :)