Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Another filter Mudbox has is showing the normals of the model which can be used to make a normal map. Normals are the perpendicularness of a surface. Normal maps and bump maps are similar in that they give an illusion of three dimensionality. Bump maps simulate just depth (up and down) so they can be black and white images. Normal maps contain the three dimensional direction of how light bounces off the surface so they need to be color images to store more information. Above is the normal map of the rock I made earlier.
I can save the map and apply to a flat square and now it appears as if there is a three dimensional rock there. If I tilt the viewing angle (below), it changes how the light bounces off the surface as if a rock was really there. However if I keep tilting, you can see how the square was flat all along. In a way, normal maps are like holograms. Holograms change the way light bounces off of it when you look at it from different angles to create a three dimensional effect despite being a flat object.
With that, I'm done with this book. I went through it fairly quickly. They didn't make the most interesting blog posts though. I thought the book was just ok. I wasn't a fan of the format of having a bunch of small lessons. I did learn and do some new things but I'm not sure how much I would use that in the future. Anyway, I promise there are more interesting blog posts to come.