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Author Topic: [Question] How to create normal maps for wing ribs  (Read 5790 times)

actionary

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[Question] How to create normal maps for wing ribs
« on: October 30, 2016, 08:48:54 am »

I want to create a normal map for my flying-wing glider's wings, especially emphasizing the rib construction under the fabric skin.

The normal map of Shavrov Sh-2 is a very good example for me, but I want to further underline the ribs.

I also want to create the normal map somewhat accurately, which I haven't been able to, using Photoshop.

What is the correct way to do this? Do I have to use that "sculpt-real-ribs-on-high-poly-model-and-reflect-it-on-low-poly-one" method inside Blender?
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KW71

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Re: [Question] How to create normal maps for wing ribs
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2016, 10:09:33 am »

What is the correct way to do this? Do I have to use that "sculpt-real-ribs-on-high-poly-model-and-reflect-it-on-low-poly-one" method inside Blender?

That's the best method, because you can not only add detail, but also have a good shadowing without too much polygons. That is how I made this tail:



Althoug after that, is better to add small detail like rivets inside Photoshop, at least you want to add each of them on the high poly.
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actionary

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Re: [Question] How to create normal maps for wing ribs
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2016, 12:35:37 pm »

Thank you very much.

So, considering that I'm using Blender, which method do you recommend? Should I use the sculpt mode to sculpt the rib protrusions by hand, or is there a better and more precise method to do that? I think I'm lost.
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StrakanXJ

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Re: [Question] How to create normal maps for wing ribs
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2016, 12:43:03 pm »

This topic is interesting, I have been using GIMP to create my normal maps...
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KW71

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Re: [Question] How to create normal maps for wing ribs
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2016, 12:57:46 pm »

Sculpt is for organic models (people, monsters, rocks, etc.). For vehicles you have to model the Hi-poly, using the low as reference or vice-versa.

This is the collective stick for the new Apache (no ETA):

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actionary

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Re: [Question] How to create normal maps for wing ribs
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2016, 01:00:36 pm »

Can you create precise normal maps for - especially - wing ribs in GIMP? If yes, what's your method?

In fact, what I want to do is,

1. draw a 2D profile of the curve in a 2D software like PS (i.e. waves with sharp tops, as in actual wing ribs)
2. and somehow convert them into a gradient map...
3. ...which I'll later use for bump-mapping,
4. and then convert the bump map into a normal map to use in Outerra.

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StrakanXJ

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Re: [Question] How to create normal maps for wing ribs
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2016, 01:06:16 pm »

I am not as skilled at this as I want to be...and currently I am not familiar with methods to create normal maps from the 3D shapes themselves, just the UV unwrapped Image/texture file.
So Im reading this with interest.

(in GIMP you need a normal map add on and you simply  load texture image> map>normal>set paramaters.
Doubt its what you want to do here?)
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KW71

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Re: [Question] How to create normal maps for wing ribs
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2016, 01:09:05 pm »

Do you want to avoid sharp edges?


2. and somehow convert them into a gradient map...


Perhaps just apply a gaussian blur filter...

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actionary

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Re: [Question] How to create normal maps for wing ribs
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2016, 01:10:02 pm »

Sculpt is for organic models (people, monsters, rocks, etc.). For vehicles you have to model the Hi-poly, using the low as reference or vice-versa.

Manually modeling a total of 120 ribs (we're talking about a flying-wing :) )... That sounds difficult!

I used to be able to use the gradient tool in PS to create so-so results, so I think I just need a more precise method to adopt in 2D. Otherwise, finishing this aircraft will probably be impossible for me :)

OR,

maybe there's a way to get the desired result without manually manipulating every vertex for 120 ribs (okay, 60. I'm using the mirror modifier). For example, a method like the proportional editing tool which effects nearby vertices proportionally.
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KW71

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Re: [Question] How to create normal maps for wing ribs
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2016, 01:40:06 pm »

Althoug after that, is better to add small detail like rivets inside Photoshop, at least you want to add each of them on the high poly.
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M7

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Re: [Question] How to create normal maps for wing ribs
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2016, 12:15:08 pm »

I made a quick test in photoshop. Is that the effect you're looking for?
http://imgur.com/mmf9GxQ
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actionary

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Re: [Question] How to create normal maps for wing ribs
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2016, 05:55:41 am »

Exactly sir! Which gradient settings did you  use?
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M7

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Re: [Question] How to create normal maps for wing ribs
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2016, 09:46:42 am »

Well i used a gradient, but a perfect gradient makes a flat surface in normals, so i had to tweak quite a bit to make a curve out of it. But here's a psd with layers. I made it as a tile texture.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B96RrTcNJsI2R0FlVnVwMXNDbkU
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actionary

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Re: [Question] How to create normal maps for wing ribs
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2016, 11:12:00 am »

Exactly what I was looking for! Thank you very much. I think this topic deserves a tutorial as well.

BTW, am I allowed to use it in my models?
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M7

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Re: [Question] How to create normal maps for wing ribs
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2016, 11:22:27 am »

Please do. Looking forward to see it on your model.
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