Normal maps using MapZone

n4gix

Resource contributor
Interesting, but this is supposed to be "easier" than using the nVidia plugin? :confused:
 
Interesting, but this is supposed to be "easier" than using the nVidia plugin? :confused:
I know, Bill. I should have made it a video tutorial... :eek: It's easier than it reads. And you only have to create this filter once. After that, it's a matter of loading a heightmap and exporting your .DDS to the sim (no imagetool). I actually use MapZone to create a standard normal map for the 3D-viewport while modelling. If I had to flatten and generate it via NVIDIA-plugin to check on every little change in the texture, I would spend most of my time doing just that. The cool thing about mapzone is that you can actually create a texture set from and linked to your workfiles that updates your final textures in a one-click process. I will complete the tut on that point (and maybe append the filter-file for the lazy reader...).

And for the little plus, the MapZone normal maps are more accurate, lines are thinner (2 vs. 3 pixels NVIDIA) and overall less blurry... Don't take my word on that, give it a try and compare. I know I am "detailverliebt", don't spank me for that :D

Cheers
 
Thanks for that, I was looking for something with a bit more control than the Nvidia plugin, and this does a great job.

You are right -- once it is set up to my liking I can just load each texture and export, just takes a few seconds.
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
And for the little plus, the MapZone normal maps are more accurate, lines are thinner (2 vs. 3 pixels NVIDIA) and overall less blurry... Don't take my word on that, give it a try and compare. I know I am "detailverliebt", don't spank me for that :D

Cheers
Oh, but I like to spank people! :D

Thanks for the expanded explanation, Felix. Sigh, now I have yet another tool to learn and try out... :duck:
 
Oh, but I like to spank people! :D

Thanks for the expanded explanation, Felix. Sigh, now I have yet another tool to learn and try out... :duck:
You're welcome, sir. I'm just learning it myself...

Thanks for that, I was looking for something with a bit more control than the Nvidia plugin, and this does a great job.
Getting more control is what triggered my quest, too. There is another prominent tool for normal maps only, called Crazybump ($ 20 I think...) which would be excellent if pixel resolution wasn't so crucial to FSX texturing... Forget about thin panel lines with that one...
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
I tested CrazyBump back when it first came out. I wasn't terribly impressed with it at all.
 
Actually, I quite liked the Crazybump beta (results-wise, rather that the interface), but didn't like the US$299 pricetag for the full version. I haven't used bumpmaps since the beta expired, so MapZone is a welcome addition.
 
UPDATE!

I forgot to indicate the alpha value for the first Uniform Color node. I have updated the tut accordingly. Values are (R=0, G=255, B=255, A=63).

Crazybump is not so bad at all. It just doesn't make the lines thin enough... :D
 
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