Chapter 4

Normal Mapping

David Wilson

Introduction

A “normal map” is the latest buzzword for artists creating assets for next-generation videogames. These maps are used to increase the level of detail and fidelity in modern videogames. Creating a normal map is an additional process that increases the amount of time to create an asset. Normal maps are applied to a model like a texture, but a common mistake is to treat them as conventional textures. There are a number of reasons why your approach to creating and applying normal maps should be different from conventional model construction and texturing. This chapter explains the concept of normal mapping and how to create and implement normal maps efficiently and effectively.

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