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November 21, 2019, 07:32:07 PM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperArt (Moderator: JWK5)My normal maps in Blender always end up looking terrible
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Lance of Longinus
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« on: May 21, 2018, 03:56:43 AM »

I'm having severe problems getting a functioning normal map in Blender.



The objects sizes theoretically should be correct, they are fitting in each other well. I unwrapped the UV properly. In theory it should work, but in practice it doesn't. So far I've tried both using the Blender Renderer and Cycles and I messed around with the distance, but whatever I do, the end result always looks terrible.

In all tutorial videos it seems to always just end up bringing the high res detail to the low res model. But when I do it it seems to go wrong every time.

Has anyone any idea what I'm doing wrong?
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ThemsAllTook
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2018, 06:44:32 AM »

I'm having trouble telling what's going on with that particular object. It seems like it doesn't have a lot of details that would necessitate a normal map?

Blender normal maps can be pretty finicky, and I had to go back and forth with a whole bunch of guides to figure out how to get them to behave. This is my go-to video when I forget a step and need to look up how to do it:



I'd recommend following that tutorial exactly and setting up a cube just like he's done, making sure that works 100%, and then comparing the setup your actual model uses with the reference cube to figure out where the difference is. With any luck, that should show you what's going wrong.
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Cobralad
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2018, 08:34:53 AM »

try exporting model to unity or unreal, its easier than blender rendering
also lowpoly version looks like it already has a lot of detail
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Lance of Longinus
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2018, 01:42:26 PM »

Thanks for the answers, but that one in the video pretty much just bakes it without doing anything fancy.
I tried using that basic approach for my oil drum again and than tried replicating that with a regular square. Interestingly in both cases the result seemed not to be pretty. And I still have no idea what I did wrong. Maybe I should try presenting my problem at some specialized blender forum.
Than again, I always end up getting problems that no one else seems to get in pretty much anything I attempt to do.




I also tried using XNormal because many people seem to love it, but the result seems to be even worse.
(This here are two oil barrels in unity with normals from blender and xnormal respectively)



try exporting model to unity or unreal, its easier than blender rendering
also lowpoly version looks like it already has a lot of detail

The thing is that I'm trying to go for a look as realistic as possible (not in the sense of trying to achieve photorealism, that would far out of my reach, but in order to try going for a look good enough so that its going to work for a gritty horror game). Once I somehow manage to set up a test scene with self-created assets in unity and figure out a workflow, I'll go back to blender and try giving it some dents with sculpting, so it looks old and rusty.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2018, 01:52:17 PM by Lance of Longinus » Logged
Tusky
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2018, 11:45:47 PM »

Probably a stupid suggestion but are your normals the correct way round?
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Diabetes Forecast
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2018, 10:29:22 AM »

Swizzle (invert) your green channel, you have it set the wrong direction. You might also have your cage set too far from the mesh, and I get the feeling Xnormal is reading a cage wrong on some level. I mean... you did set a cage up, right?
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2018, 01:43:58 AM »

In the last picture it does look like things that should be pointing outward are pointing inward, yeah. Here's how I always set up my nodes for rendering normal maps in Blender: https://blender.stackexchange.com/a/14063
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