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Free tool to generate normal maps - nMaker2

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tiagodmed polycounter lvl 5
Hello people, I would present to you a tool that I am developing to create normal maps, the nMaker 2. The base of the tool is already ready, and I am correcting some details that beta testers gave me.
This tool will be free and I will soon be releasing a beta version for download.
I'll leave here some images of the results obtained so far.

Results of the first tests:
nMaker2_mr.jpg


more adjustments...
finalNormalMap_nMaker2.jpg

smoothing of detail
nMaker2_smooth.jpg


increase in volume
maisVolume.jpg


3D preview
Preview3D.jpg


Final test
nMaker2_cambodia.jpg


Tests with various tools (remember, my tool is free, I don't need to do a test tendentious)

nvidia.jpg

xNormal.jpg

crazybump.jpg

ShaderMap.jpg

nDo2.jpg

nMaker2.jpg


Texture used in the comparative tests:
http://www.cgtextures.com/login.php?&texid=29954&destination=texview.php?id=29954&PHPSESSID=5i2pat82hl2ul9dggjr8ghfq12

Replies

  • Ace-Angel
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    Ace-Angel polycounter lvl 7
    I can see what you're going for in your tests, but I think they're kinda muting the point your trying to make.

    You see, many people use stuff like Xnormal, nDo2, and CB, so they have a 'base idea' of what they want to see or get from the final product.
    You are comparing your tool to industry proven software, which while honorable and challenging, in this case isn't doing you any favors, since you're comparing Default/Standard values vs. your more 'optimized' values for your software.

    For example, in the case of the Nvidia test, your values are too harsh, most artist would spend time in masking and blurring the areas of the Normal they want to change.

    On the other hand, if you compared how long it would take an artist to use Nvidia vs. your tool, people will be more interested in using your tool. You know, saving time and such.

    In my humble opinion, if you just showed your tool and how much time it will save you compared to other tools, instead of how 'bad' they look vs. your tool, you will get people more interested, and those who happen to by cynics are less willing to rip on your tool and how you're being unfair in comparisons.

    Anyhow, it look like your tool is ready for prime-time, since it seems to read the grey-scale information correctly right off the bat, which is cool. Can't wait to test it.
  • arrangemonk
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    arrangemonk polycounter lvl 12
    If you're going to release the tool for free, you probably could tell me the algorithms your using,
    my normal map generator produces nvidia like output at the moment
  • Eric Chadwick
    Thanks for posting. The more tools the better! I'm curious what controls your tool will have? Can you show an interface snapshot, or is it command-line?
  • Eric Chadwick
  • tiagodmed
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    tiagodmed polycounter lvl 5
    Hello folks, I forgot to comment on who is my target audience with this tool! My main focus is people that need to do repetitive work, and do not know much or anything about image editing. So the idea of the tool is to be "one click". To this end the tool will have some presets options, ie. this tool is basically a preset for creating normal maps (it still doesn't have an interface, now it runs as a script).
    For this to be viable and functional I am spending many hours testing to refine the presets and to get good results for all scenarios.
    When I compare my tool with others that already exist (please do not understand this comparison as a negative point), I analyzed item quality and ease of use.
    The nvidia generator and the xnormal (plugin for photoshop) are for normal map as desaturation is for bump map.
    Now, crazy bump, nDo2 (I have much respect for these tools, I think they're fantastic) and shader map, allow you to make finer adjustments in the image, but users with little knowledge (which is my target audience) may not get the best result these tools can provide.
    But to my surprise the nMaker provided superior results to these tools without requiring the user to edit the map after it's generated.

    I would also like to say that I'm not a programmer, I am an artist. An artist creating a tool for other artists. Maybe that was my advantage!
    So, I did not use one single line of programming (not directly) to generate the base for my tool. I used techniques that are present in my work and I adapted them to my needs.
    This tool runs in photoshop (CS5 <), and has been made from the recording of actions that then were turned into a script.
  • tiagodmed
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    tiagodmed polycounter lvl 5
    Eric, this is version 1 of the nMaker, but I used another process (not very accurate) to generate the maps.

    Here are the comparative (I had forgot to do)

    nMaker1.jpg

    nM1xnM2.jpg

    nM1xnM2_maps.jpg

    Download nMaker1
  • Eric Chadwick
    Quite an improvement! Great to see artists making tools. And I love your portfolio, beautiful work.
  • arshlevon
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    arshlevon polycounter lvl 14
    i think the results are great.
  • Olli.
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    Olli. polycounter lvl 8
    great thanks for this! can never have too many normal map generator tools :P
  • FractaL
    Those are some great results! Is there a link to the download anywhere? I'm highly interested in this tool!
  • MrOneTwo
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    MrOneTwo polycounter lvl 9
    Latest tiagodmed post at the bottom.
  • walreu
    Aah, so basicly what this does is converts image to BW, normal maps it (with nvidia plugin maybe) and then does the layer overlaying trick?
  • arrangemonk
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    arrangemonk polycounter lvl 12
    walreu wrote: »
    Aah, so basicly what this does is converts image to BW, normal maps it (with nvidia plugin maybe) and then does the layer overlaying trick?

    is wat you're refering to as "the layer overlaying trick" the fractal brownian motion? (with frequency = sharpness & amplitude = opacity)?

    if true, then achieving this results is
    creating frequency samples with lowpass/highpass, converting them to normals
    and overlaying them together with opacity indirect proportional to requency

    right?
  • tiagodmed
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    tiagodmed polycounter lvl 5
    walreu in nMaker2 I used a different algorithm to generate the emboss. But I also used some tricks to handle the image before applying the emboss.
    I use some overlaps as a way to earn a extra volume, but if the base of map is not good, these overlays will not solve much.
    The nMaker1 is not much different of the NVIDIA generator, the difference is the use of these overlays to gain volume, but the accuracy is very low, that is why I decided to drastically change the maps generation system of the nMaker2.
    It's like I said earlier, the nvidia generator and the xnormal (plugin for photoshop) are for normal map as desaturation is for bump map. It will not solve anything if you do not edit the image after, and the result yet leaves much to be wish!

    The nMaker2 is almost ready, there are only a few adjustments in the script to the values ​​used are proportional to the size of the image.
  • nyx702
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    nyx702 Polycount Sponsor
    Cool! Looking forward to testing this out!
  • tiagodmed
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    tiagodmed polycounter lvl 5
    New feature of the nMaker2 dot some thing (kkkk). Generation of displacement map.

    displace01.jpg

    displace02.jpg

    displace03.jpg

    displace04.jpg

    displace05.jpg
  • Eric Chadwick
    Cool!

    It would be easier to judge what's going on if you show the input image alongside each example.
  • tiagodmed
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    tiagodmed polycounter lvl 5
    Sorry, it was an forgetfulness!
    Here are the original textures:

    Wicker0020_15_S.jpg

    OrnamentsRectangular0012_1_S.jpg

    GravelCobble0021_1_S.jpg

    Leather0101_2_S.jpg

    Cambodia0055_1_S.jpg
  • FractaL
    So when can we download this? I really want to try this out!!!
  • lolko7
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    lolko7 polycounter lvl 4
    Hello
    Could You port nMaker 2 for Gimp win/linux version ? Gimp 2.8 is amazing tool.
    Greetings
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