Post news RSS Development Blog #11 - Normal maps

This time we are improving our bump mapping technology with better normal maps!

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Hello and welcome back!

Oh my god, yesterday there was really a severe storm in germany. It nearly blew my smartphone out of my hands. I was really lucky to arrive at home before they stopped the local train traffic.

Nevertheless we continued. What did we do in the last days? Ok first we did bug testing. We got the hint that the chests are removed when walking around. Ok we created a test map to find this bug:

Normal maps

There was indeed a bug which affected the case when you get out of sight and then return to the box. But I am not completely sure if this is the bug which was reported. I checked it with the test level and no box disappeared. We will see...

And then we implemented our own normal generation algorithm. We did this because we also want to add parallax mapping and perhaps some advanced stuff. So our normal generation algorithm is also encoding the bump map height in the alpha channel of the normal map. So we can relatively easy add new rendering algorithms. We are finally using a Sobel 5x5 filter for our main normal map. Here are some screenshots of the normal map which was generated with our program and not with GIMP:

Normal maps Normal maps
Normal maps

The shadow is a little bit stronger.

And we also generated a normal map for the plants:

Normal maps

Here we blured the plants and then combined it with the fine structures. This again was then the input for our normal mapping algorithm. But I admit that the bump mapping for the plants is not so visible as the normal map of the solid materials.

And we are also currently working on a new configuration dialog. I never liked the start dialog. And as we want to improve the renderer in the future there will be lots of different settings. To handle this efficiently we want to use an automatic generated UI.

And there is also a strange bug which brings the main lightmap to change to black. We will find a solution. And there was also a bug where the lod of the depth map was different as the lod of the world. We changed it now so that every view uses the same lod!

And we also added a compass on top of the screen:


And the ferns are now also moving in the wind!


Ok, wait a second. Are you saying that you took your colour maps and put them in a normal map generator? That is the **wrong** way to do that. Please contact me at so that I can explain how to properly make a normal map. I am sure it will help you out quite a bit ;D. If you think I don't know what I am talking about, I have 2 years of 3D Design under my belt and have been paid many times for my work.

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bsf_mistau Author

Actually we created our own normal map generator. And we know that the input of the normal map generator is a height map. And there are different ways to create one ...

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