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 Truck Making Q&A
 bump / normal maps made easy!
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Author Previous Topic bump / normal maps made easy! Next Topic  
nfsgeeeek
Member

Canada
411 Posts
Posted - Nov 07 2014 :  03:04:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit nfsgeeeek's Homepage  Reply with Quote
So, I realized long ago that what Evo2's files call bump maps are literally just normal maps. Anyone who looks into game files as much as I do should know what a normal map is the instant they look at it. But if not, literally go to Evo2's stock truck and look for a texture with _BUMP in the name. See that look? Good. That is a normal map. Bump maps are black and white. Then I realised.. "Why not just do the process of making a normal map?" which I did on my last conversions, and low and behold, instead of wasting time on what I would normally do to go about creating the normal maps, I had them made instantly with the process I used.

What process is this? Well, think of how the tracks are, true white is the highest point, true black is the lowest point. Yeah? It's the same thing, so if you have a doorline, make it darker cause it would appear in 3D Space as an ingraving in the car, which is the same as making an ingraving, in new games if you look at the tires, they look 3D, that is helped with the normal map, there is a program that I use which turns the bump maps, the height map, black and white thing I referenced above into a normal map, or a _BUMP map for Evo2.

xNormal.

Using the black and white height map, put that into xNormal, and it will convert it to a standard normal map, or, as Evo2 calls them, a bump map. No hassle with fumbling around in Photoshop attempting to make them, it just spits that out easily. In the next post I will go into more detail and explain with pictures, but right now I haven't got the time, I figured I would just post this here for now so I can go about going to sleep now or something like that which I really should get to doing. I will do the rest of this explanation tomorrow, as it is amazing how blind I was, my tutorial will assume you have access to Photoshop.

  

nfsgeeeek
Member

Canada
411 Posts
Posted - Nov 09 2014 :  03:20:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit nfsgeeeek's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
Step one!

Have your greyscale height map WITHOUT any alpha channels added, if there is an alpha channel delete it. And you NEED to convert your greyscale height map into RGB format from greyscale once you are finished otherwise it will not work. Save the image as TGA, and open xNormal


Step two!

In xNormal, you will see a lot of buttons, you need to ignore all of this, the only thing you need to worry about is TOOLS and Height Map to Normal map. I have also highlighted the button to close, as it is in a really odd place.

Step three!

Right click the height map window, and browse for your height map, you can paste, but sometimes artifacts form on the clipboard I've found, it is better to browse and load the TGA height map file we mentioned before.

Step four!

Right click the normal map area, and click Generate, it will generate your height map. Then you right click and save as a TGA. Now, do whatever you want, Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop, Paint.NET, whatever program you desire to use, you can open your TGA file and save it as truckname_BUMP.tif and this TIF file will work.

That's about that, the only reason I had realized you could use this program is I had been making normal maps this way in a custom story I've been making in Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It makes life a lot easier this way compared to the other methods I've found.

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BigDOGGe
Administrator

USA
16529 Posts
Posted - Nov 09 2014 :  6:33:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
I don't even have to go that far. That's WORK! Ewwwww!



Instead, there is a Photoshop plug-in available from Nvidia for free that I use for creating normal maps automatically. "If you want to know the easiest and fastest way to do a job,...ask a lazy guy."


Step one...select the filter,...



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Step two...set parameters,...these will do nicely...



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Step three...apply the filter...instant bump map!


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I use it with Photoshop 5.5 and I assume it would work with PS-7 and PS-CS2 as well. Sorry, Paint Shop Pro users. I don't know if Nvidia has anything for you or not, but I do know some Photoshop plug-ins work with PSP.

You can still get the normals plug-in from Nvidia as a self-installing executable (.exe) at https://developer.nvidia.com/gameworksdownload#?dn=texture-tools-for-adobe-photoshop-8-55

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nfsgeeeek
Member

Canada
411 Posts
Posted - Nov 09 2014 :  7:17:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit nfsgeeeek's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
This method defiantly works for those who don't have Photoshop though, Paint Shop Pro, and some the newer copies of Paint Shop Photo Pro, which are more or less made for editing photography, they could use this method, which is a nice thing for them. Mostly cause Photoshop is expensive, and older copies are difficult to find, I'd have gotten the whole CS6 suite, but I couldn't find it anywhere, only student copies which is great, but nothing commercial can be done.

On a slightly off-topic,my photos would sit and rot if I did that, and Adobe After Effects is needed for my college so the stupid CC thing is all I could do, and I hate most cloud services, the Apple cloud being hacked is another reason, I make it a point to not sync anything there, just some issues with that whole idea of putting a lot of peoples data in one location


Oh, and with that NVidia filter, working right from a colour image wouldn't work for most things since the height would look odd in say, 3DS Max or something which uses the normal maps to display the full heights

  

Edited by - nfsgeeeek on Nov 09 2014 7:19:10 PM Go to Top of Page

BigDOGGe
Administrator

USA
16529 Posts
Posted - Nov 09 2014 :  8:16:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply WITHOUT a Quote
quote:
Mostly cause Photoshop is expensive, and older copies are difficult to find,


I'll have to check and see if it works with Photoshop CS2, now that CS2 is free (link to stand-alone version...no "clouds' here). That would solve the expense issue for new EVO tr?ck-makers. We already know CS2 handles alphas.


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quote:
Oh, and with that NVidia filter, working right from a colour image wouldn't work for most things since the height would look odd in say, 3DS Max or something which uses the normal maps to display the full heights


My tutes posted here are for EVO use only, so what it does in other situations is of no concern to me as far as this thread goes. My suggestions are not directed at other modeling or rendering software packages. In EVO 1 and 2, the filter works great.

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