Author Topic: question regarding using Height Map Frequencies and Normals  (Read 4233 times)

I have a few use cases that I'm not certain how I should correctly generate either normal or height maps, the node structures and/or order.

Lets say I have a simple shape such as a plane or cube, and I would like to create the illusion of some dimensional texture to the surface.

What I have been doing to creating a simple black and white SVG image of the shape, creating an interpreted "curvature" map (blacks for creases or recessed areas, whites for convex shapes and transitions) and converting it to grayscale.  I will use this to generate various affects (such as notches or dirt) by applying this to the curvature input; however, should I be pumping this through a height map frequencies filter first?  Should I be doing this in conjunction with generating a normal map too and would it require a normalization before outputting to the normal map?

Also, I've taken simple black and white patterns generated with FX-map and pumped this directly into a normal node to output a normal map.  It seems to work, but I'm not sure this is the right way to generate it.

I guess simply put, what is the right order and way of generating curvature and normal maps if I do not have a high resolution mesh to generate the maps for me?


here's a couple examples of the outputs of a simple plane, with a few layers of affects applied.  There was no high resolution version of this geometry, it is a simple plane.  All affects including grease, dirt, specular, diffuse, and normal maps where generated using SVG and built in filters:




I have a few use cases that I'm not certain how I should correctly generate either normal or height maps, the node structures and/or order.

Lets say I have a simple shape such as a plane or cube, and I would like to create the illusion of some dimensional texture to the surface.

What I have been doing to creating a simple black and white SVG image of the shape, creating an interpreted "curvature" map (blacks for creases or recessed areas, whites for convex shapes and transitions) and converting it to grayscale.  I will use this to generate various affects (such as notches or dirt) by applying this to the curvature input; however, should I be pumping this through a height map frequencies filter first?  Should I be doing this in conjunction with generating a normal map too and would it require a normalization before outputting to the normal map?

Also, I've taken simple black and white patterns generated with FX-map and pumped this directly into a normal node to output a normal map.  It seems to work, but I'm not sure this is the right way to generate it.

I guess simply put, what is the right order and way of generating curvature and normal maps if I do not have a high resolution mesh to generate the maps for me?

I just use the Normal Mapper Node to create a normal from a height map. It takes a grayscale input. For curvature, are you using the curvature node? This takes a normal map an input. I will typically create a normal from height and then pipe that normal map into the curvature node. You don't have to worry about normalization.

Cheers,

Wes
Head of Substance Demo Art Team
the3dninja@adobe.com
Twitter: The3DNinja

I had been taking just the grayscale and linking that into the curvature nodes.. however, I went back and built the maps as you've described and the affects are much better.. thanks Wes!

Do you use similar branches with filters like Edge Notch and Edge Select (grayscale > height mapper > normal mapper > [affect node])?


I had been taking just the grayscale and linking that into the curvature nodes.. however, I went back and built the maps as you've described and the affects are much better.. thanks Wes!

Do you use similar branches with filters like Edge Notch and Edge Select (grayscale > height mapper > normal mapper > [affect node])?

Yes I do. If I don't have a high res mesh, I will often use the curvature, AO and Normal mapper nodes to generate the effects.

Glad that was helpful : )

Cheers,

Wes
Head of Substance Demo Art Team
the3dninja@adobe.com
Twitter: The3DNinja