Bump/Normal Map displaying weird & incorrectly

Hi Che,

Sorry I have not been around much either. It seems that what I thought was the solution really is not. It must have been a coincidence that this happened. I also have other objects myself that are not double side and I still have it. I'll keep looking for a solution. The only thing certain is that the problem exists only when bump is applied. Non-bumped surfaces are fine, but it is really a shame not to use them on such corrugated surfaces. My system of modelling and texturing is pretty much similar to yours. Keep drawcalls to a minimum at the expense of a few extra polys.
 

Deano1973

Resource contributor
I'm also encountering this same issue, something that I haven't seen before when using MCX. The image shows three versions of the control tower I'm working on: the one on the left is the version with sections split for texturing and bump mapped. The centre version is the same tower without a bump map. The one on the right is a new, single-piece cone mapped and bumped - and it still shows the shadowing. Arno, could there be anything in MCX that is causing this? I know that shouldn't be the case but it's occurring on all models when bumps are applied, regardless of how they're created, when the geometry changes. More likely it's something we're all doing wrong but I cannot imagine what at this time? I do note that on the right hand tower, everything is fine up to where the shape begins to change, whereupon the polygons' differing shapes become apparent - something's happening there but I'm not sure what. Previous models created with these shapes, such as fuel tanks, have suffered no such issue when bump maps are applied.

All maps are DDS, same size etc. I should add that this is not occurring on the roof of the tower building, which bumps without problem.

BumpProblem2.jpg
 
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Deano1973

Resource contributor
SOLVED!!

OK folks, for anyone who encounters this issue: The new picture shows the same image as above, but this time I added an alpha channel to the BUMP DDS on the towers to both the left and the right. I simply took the original bumpmap and imported it as an alpha using DTXBMP, as it seemed to me that each polygon was operating as an individual map. I wondered if adding an alpha would help smooth out the light, for want of a better explanation. Piccy attached with the results, and the clear winner on the right. Lesson learned: don't split up models into multiple parts when intending to bump map, and add an alpha if shadowing occurs in the absence of any other cause.

BumpProblemSolved.jpg
 

Deano1973

Resource contributor
I think you must have meant "clear winner on the left..." :stirthepo
Nah, the final image is the little thumbnail in my final reply: left hand tower's bumps are still corrupted, the middle tower has no bumps, the one on the right is bumped and all lovely and smoove due to the alpha :) I've no idea actually why that process worked so well, but if it ain't broke no longer... :)
 
Hello DC, I just saw your post. I am puzzled as the bump map already includes an alpha channel, as it is supposed to include one. The alpha channel holds info for the normal map. How did you add one, and doing so did your normal map effect in defining "bumps" change?
 

Deano1973

Resource contributor
I can't really say what happened to make it work, only that it did. I just used the same map as the diffuse but imported it into the diffuse as an alpha and suddenly everything worked just fine. With a plain white alpha I got those odd boxy-looking patterns that looked awful. Like I said, if it ain't broken, I'm not going to worry about fixing it. Well worth trying whenever you see angular, polygonal patterns on a bump map to see if it gets rid of them.
 
Ah, so you mean you added an alpha in the diffuse map, not the bump map. The bump map already has an alpha that is important in the definition of the "bumps" so you can not replace it without braking the bumps. If that is the case I will try adding an alpha in the diffuse and report back. Indeed in my case the diffuse maps do not have alphas.
 
I tried adding an alpha on the diffuse map but it did not help. Is it possible to share the material properties in case there is a setting that could help?
 

Deano1973

Resource contributor
I tried adding an alpha on the diffuse map but it did not help. Is it possible to share the material properties in case there is a setting that could help?
I will attach something here in reply when I get a chance - I've been away for several days and also very busy with work.
 
Well, for me it is solved now, in a different way...

I just upgraded P3D to 4.5 and in the process deleted my shaders. After the upgrade and compilation of the new shaders the problem went away! I even applied a PTA preset afterwards with different shaders and still all was OK.

This somehow makes sense as my few beta testers were not reporting this problem.
 

Deano1973

Resource contributor
Well, for me it is solved now, in a different way...

I just upgraded P3D to 4.5 and in the process deleted my shaders. After the upgrade and compilation of the new shaders the problem went away! I even applied a PTA preset afterwards with different shaders and still all was OK.

This somehow makes sense as my few beta testers were not reporting this problem.
Glad to hear that you have solved your issue. I don't recall whether I upgraded at the time of my own issues, but it's entirely possible that was the cause of the bumps displaying oddly!
 
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