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XJAbuzer
Abuzed Customz

USA
4274 Posts
Posted - Oct 26 2005 :  4:31:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
**EDIT**- Link to the crease tool has been updated...again

Well, I am giving it a shot, here it goes, I hope its not too confusing.

Normals and ways to fix them

Normals is the name that z-mod uses for shading and the way the light reflects off of the object. You can go to vertices mode and use the select tool to select the verts and you will see a bunch of green lines coming out of the verts. This is the angle that the light reflects on the object. When you create an object in z-mod (cylinder, tube, square, etc) you will notice that the edges are not very defined and the surfaces are dark and indistinct. That is bad normals, like you see in the pic below...

Notice how you cannot really see the edges closest to you


There are a few ways to fix this in z-mod.

The easy way is the crease tool but it only works well on squared objects as well as tubes and cylinders with a horizontal step count above 8 or so. The crease tool can be downloaded here....

http://vales.com/programs/Crease.zip

Note that like all files on the Vales server it can only be downloaded if the link comes from a vales.com web page

To install the crease tool jsut put the crease file in your plugins folder located in your zmod program files

To use the crease tool, go to objects mode and click on the part you want to fix the normals on. You will see a pop-up window that has a crease angle number in it (70). You enter in the crease angle you want (40 works pretty good in most cases)and click ok. You should notice a difference in the shading of your object.


Another way to do normals is to detach each opposing side and use the calculate tool. Just detach the sides that touch each other, (for example, a cube has 6 sides, so you should detach it in 3 parts, where no 2 surfaces touch). Reunite the cube back together and go to vertices mode, then go to surfaces/normals/calculate and use the select tool to select ALL of the vertices on the object and then click on any vertice. All of the little green lines should now look like this......

Now do you see how much nicer the object looks. To do this to tubes, detach the ends of the tubes and reunite them then use the normals calculation tool on it. Make sure you use the calculate tool in vertices mode, it doesnt always work in object mode.

I hope this helps everyone who reads this. If any questions arouse, feel free to post them here. There are many people in the community who are really good with normals and perhaps they can explain things in a matter that is easier to understand than my explaination.

Happy shading!!

  A painting in a museum hears more ridiculous opinions than anything else in the world.-Edmond de Concourt (1822 - 1896)

Edited by - XJ~Abuzer on Oct 21 2006 7:26:52 PM

Edited by - XJAbuzer on Nov 04 2011 12:03:29 PM

Edited by - XJAbuzer on Nov 04 2011 2:07:10 PM

Trey
Member

USA
523 Posts
Posted - Oct 26 2005 :  7:08:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit Trey's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
Nice work! Maybe one day I'll get my BUTT and learn to use/build in z-mod.

  For those who fought for it. FREEDOM has a taste the PROTECTED will never know. Go to Top of Page

Lukethedude
Track Designer

USA
2289 Posts
Posted - Oct 27 2005 :  04:57:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lukethedude's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
O I under stand, I see what you mean now but I am not sure wich way I like better. Hum...Well I guess I do it to all of the Legos but I dont really see that much of a differecne thanks alot tho!

  Heres a pic of a plane called the Goose one of 20 on earth. Go to Top of Page

XJAbuzer
Abuzed Customz

USA
4274 Posts
Posted - Oct 27 2005 :  12:39:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
well, which one do you think looks better here.

Pic 1.........


or pic 2........


I assure you, luke, that your lego blocks would look more like lego blocks if the normals were correct. Your colors would be brighter and the edges would look sharper, giving you an all around better visual experience in your legoville track.

*edit* whuuups I forgot pics

  A painting in a museum hears more ridiculous opinions than anything else in the world.-Edmond de Concourt (1822 - 1896)

Edited by - CJ~Abuzer on Oct 27 2005 12:41:25 PM Go to Top of Page

YOU
Proliferate Poster

USA
861 Posts
Posted - Oct 27 2005 :  2:31:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit YOU's Homepage  Send YOU an instant message  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
i love u abuzer.
and if u can't tell which looks better try the crease tool on your eyebals.

  ohhhhemmmmmmmmmgggggeeeeeeeeeee Go to Top of Page

XJAbuzer
Abuzed Customz

USA
4274 Posts
Posted - Oct 27 2005 :  2:36:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
I love YOU toolol


and here I thought i would never use that smiley

  A painting in a museum hears more ridiculous opinions than anything else in the world.-Edmond de Concourt (1822 - 1896) Go to Top of Page

YOU
Proliferate Poster

USA
861 Posts
Posted - Oct 27 2005 :  4:19:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit YOU's Homepage  Send YOU an instant message  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
rofl

o here r my awsome examples w00t :P


see how the crease cylinder has some stupid stuff on it =D

works fine for boxes tho.

that was amazing wasn't it.

  ohhhhemmmmmmmmmgggggeeeeeeeeeee

Edited by - YOU on Oct 27 2005 4:25:24 PM Go to Top of Page

Lukethedude
Track Designer

USA
2289 Posts
Posted - Oct 27 2005 :  5:38:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lukethedude's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
O ok I guess I'll do it thanks.

  Heres a pic of a plane called the Goose one of 20 on earth. Go to Top of Page

Lukethedude
Track Designer

USA
2289 Posts
Posted - Oct 27 2005 :  6:08:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lukethedude's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
Well I did it to all the big lego bricks and heres what I got! I think they look better what about you guys?

  Heres a pic of a plane called the Goose one of 20 on earth. Go to Top of Page

XJAbuzer
Abuzed Customz

USA
4274 Posts
Posted - Oct 27 2005 :  6:15:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
Wow, congratulations luke, that looks really awsome. I am glad you took the time to correct it.

  A painting in a museum hears more ridiculous opinions than anything else in the world.-Edmond de Concourt (1822 - 1896)

Edited by - XJ~Abuzer on Nov 06 2006 11:58:05 PM Go to Top of Page

Chachoze
Proliferate Poster

USA
907 Posts
Posted - Oct 27 2005 :  8:11:29 PM  Show Profile  Send Chachoze an instant message  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
Nice work CJ! I new normals was how light and shadows interacted with models but I had never realized just what an impact it can make. You've put up some nice comparison pics to show the difference what an extra 10 minutes of work can do for a model.

Luke, I'm glad to see that you decided to changed your models for the sake of appearances, they turned out very well. Now I hope you take your time with the rest of the track and put the extra effort in to give it a nice quality look.


---------
Chachoze Go to Top of Page

Lukethedude
Track Designer

USA
2289 Posts
Posted - Oct 28 2005 :  05:16:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lukethedude's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
Thanks alot guys that lifted my sprit!! And the rest of the track looks great so far! 8 trail, 4 crawlin!

  Heres a pic of a plane called the Goose one of 20 on earth. Go to Top of Page

~M.O.B~Warrior
Native Customs

USA
1247 Posts
Posted - Oct 28 2005 :  5:02:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit ~M.O.B~Warrior's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
Lookin' good Luke , glad you took the time to tweak them .

One thing I must say here so please take no offense . The old head track makers here decided a long time ago that competition for who is the "best" is a bad thing . Every maker has his good points and bad points .

If all put their heads together , then hopefully ALL tracks will turn out better for it . If one learns a little trick , it is shared with others and everyone wins (with better tracks) that way .

You will see very few custom , scratch built models (some very nice with hours of work involved) that the author does not allow others to use . Of course credit in a readme should be Standard Operating Procedure .

Download Widow's Peak and read the readme , It took probably an hour or so to write and that's with using my notes that I start as soon as I get a model that someone elses' hard work produced .

You can also bet if your head gets to big , others will look down on that and the help won't come so easy , if at all . The thought will be ....Hey , your the best , so why do you need my help ? Bad thing all the way around !!

  http://www.angelfire.com/ut2/mob_warrior/ Go to Top of Page

YOU
Proliferate Poster

USA
861 Posts
Posted - Oct 28 2005 :  7:20:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit YOU's Homepage  Send YOU an instant message  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
that lego track looks good =)

  ohhhhemmmmmmmmmgggggeeeeeeeeeee Go to Top of Page

XJAbuzer
Abuzed Customz

USA
4274 Posts
Posted - Oct 22 2006 :  6:03:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
**EDIT**- Link to the crease tool has been updated

  "Very Funny Scotty . . . . Now beam down my clothes"
-Click HERE for my rigs Go to Top of Page

Trey
Member

USA
523 Posts
Posted - Oct 23 2006 :  5:34:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit Trey's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
Thanks XJ been looking for this plug-in.

  For those who fought for it. FREEDOM has a taste the PROTECTED will never know. Go to Top of Page

XJAbuzer
Abuzed Customz

USA
4274 Posts
Posted - Jun 15 2007 :  03:19:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
I decided to go a little more in depth about normals to hopefully give people a better understanding on how they work and how to correct them.

I will start by giving an example of poorly done normals. If you look at the photo below, you will notice the areas in the red boxes just don't look quite right, in the shading and definition department....


Now when you go into vert mode and select some of the verts with the selector tool you will notice there is only one green line extending from the vert in the spots where there should be definition in the body. See figure below...


A way to fix this is to detach all the faces of that particular body area along the body lines, as seen in red in the images below below...



3d view


Left wire frame view

(Note: click beside the part rather than on the part you are detaching. This keeps the part from moving slightly and causing those unsightly body gaps)


After you have all the faces detached, show all the objects you want to adjust the normals on then Click the icon to go into object mode and use the selector tool to select all the objects. See example below...



They should now appear red like you see in the image below...



Now click the vert mode icon and click on any part in red and you will see this happen...



Now go to Surface/Normals/calculate, then click on any area of the part and it will calculate the normals.



Then you will see a much nicer shading effect....



Now lets say that you needed to detach an area in multiple sections like I needed to do above the wheel well. After you calculate the normals on an object like this, it can look like this.....



Go back into vert mode by clicking the vert icon. Use your selector tool to select intersection you want to repair...


Now go to Create/Objects/UniteSelect and click on the intersection you have selected...



..And now its fixed. Continue doing this till you have all the verts corrected.

Once you are done with your normals tuning, you can re-unite your parts as needed.

I hope this clears up any "normal confusion".

Good luck guys!

  -Abuzed Rigs If pro is opposite of con, then what is the opposite of progress? Congress! Go to Top of Page

XJAbuzer
Abuzed Customz

USA
4274 Posts
Posted - Jun 16 2007 :  01:08:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
So...did this help anyone out?

  -Abuzed Rigs If pro is opposite of con, then what is the opposite of progress? Congress! Go to Top of Page

landlubber
Test Driver

USA
1349 Posts
Posted - Jun 16 2007 :  07:09:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit landlubber's Homepage  Send landlubber an instant message  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
it certainly made it more comprehendable for me. thanks.

Edit: quite clear how it looks better. thanks abuzer.

  Click here for my custom trucks

Edited by - landlubber on Jun 16 2007 09:26:56 AM Go to Top of Page

Tungsten
Member


12 Posts
Posted - Jun 24 2007 :  7:57:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
I found this out the hard way a long time ago. Detaching faces does improve visual contrast because the edges do not smooth. However there is a disadvantage to this. The disadvantage is that by detaching polygons you will create more vertices and that can get very messy. My suggestion is to detach the faces after the model is complete.

PS: It is a real pain in the neck for games that have a very low limit on the amount of vertices they are able to support. The crease tool may come in handy there!

Go to Top of Page

lime
The Vault Master

USA
2270 Posts
Posted - Jul 17 2007 :  01:12:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit lime's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
i been trying to do this right and well its 3:16AM i was sleeping then somehow it was all clear so i got up and tried it on 1 of my chevy beds and look how it change thanks abuzer for the tut


before.......

and after.....

(hour later) i try it to fenders and the cab and i'm shocked what a change it did to it

  i feel like running into something (5 secs later) you see a 70 story buildin down oops (then see a puff of smoke out of here) and screams it wasn't me......

Edited by - lime on Jul 17 2007 02:07:41 AM Go to Top of Page

XJAbuzer
Abuzed Customz

USA
4274 Posts
Posted - Jul 17 2007 :  2:19:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
Looks good lime. The only suggestion that I have is to unite the verts above the taillight. It looks a little too squared off.

  -Abuzed Rigs Go to Top of Page

M@S@
Member

Finland
265 Posts
Posted - Sep 19 2007 :  10:42:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
If you want to make corners/edges look softer and better, good way is put 2 or 3 edges in each corner. Then just Normals -> Calculate in zm. No need any tricks and the corner looks very good. In that case you can also decide that how soft it should be by moving those edges in the corner. This may isnt maybe so easy way, but in some places it looks much better than creased or dethaced normals.

Go to Top of Page

boom50cal
Postcount Champion

USA
673 Posts
Posted - Oct 17 2007 :  10:15:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
hey,XJ, i think pic 1 looks WAY better than pic 2, just my opinion

   Go to Top of Page

KickFlip360
Test Driver

USA
1307 Posts
Posted - Oct 18 2007 :  11:30:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit KickFlip360's Homepage  Send KickFlip360 an instant message  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
Those cube examples are more of showing-how-normals-work type example.
Look at the truck examples that he posted and then you can see what they can really do.

Speaking of which, I did some of this normals work on an ordinary Dodge Ram from the game. WOW, there is a mighty difference!
I'll get some pics later just for the fun of it....

I just have to say it since I haven't yet, but very nice tutorial XJ.

  Note to Self: Move kicking bag 10 feet away from mirrors. Go to Top of Page

XJAbuzer
Abuzed Customz

USA
4274 Posts
Posted - Oct 18 2007 :  12:55:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
quote:

hey,XJ, i think pic 1 looks WAY better than pic 2, just my opinion




Have you had your eyes checked lately?


Thanks Kick

  -Abuzed Rigs OKJT member #9...the first XJ member Go to Top of Page

Zarlin
Member

Canada
591 Posts
Posted - Oct 18 2007 :  3:00:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit Zarlin's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
I didnt comment on it at the time, but this is where I learned to do normals too. Really made a big difference on my trucks after.

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KickFlip360
Test Driver

USA
1307 Posts
Posted - Oct 19 2007 :  07:47:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit KickFlip360's Homepage  Send KickFlip360 an instant message  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
Well, here are my examples of normals done to the trucks from the game. Personally, I like the Ram more squared off on the hood.

Before

After

Since I gotta get off to school, I'll get some pics comparing the bed with bad and good normals.

EDIT: Sweet! 3rd and 4th period cancelled today, lol!
Well, here are the comparisons. These also might be better examples.

Before

After

  Note to Self: Move kicking bag 10 feet away from mirrors.

Edited by - KickFlip360 on Oct 19 2007 10:15:32 AM Go to Top of Page

tooeasy3
Member

Singapore
57 Posts
Posted - May 29 2011 :  7:41:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
The crease tool link is spoiled. Again.

  Download,Download,Download!
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BigDOGGe
Administrator

USA
16540 Posts
Posted - May 29 2011 :  8:36:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
quote:

The crease tool link is spoiled. Again.

Download,Download,Download!


Drop me an email and I'll send you a copy. My address is in my profile.

  The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits -- Albert Einstein Go to Top of Page

XJAbuzer
Abuzed Customz

USA
4274 Posts
Posted - May 29 2011 :  8:45:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
Balth or KC, would one of you mind hosting it at Vales?

  -Abuzed Rigs Born to wheel, forced to work. Go to Top of Page

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