Normal Bump Map
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Material Editor Material/Map Browser Normal Bump

The Normal Bump map lets you use a texture-baked Normals map (see Baked Texture Elements). Typically you assign it to a material's Bump component, Displacement component, or both. Using the map for Displacement can correct edges that otherwise look unrealistically smooth; however, this adds faces to the geometry.

TipA Normals map for the indicated material component is generated automatically if you turn on Output Into Normal Bump in the Selected Elements Unique Settings group of the Render To Texture dialog's Output rollout.



As a rule, contains a Normals map generated by Render To Texture.

Use the toggle to enable or disable use of the map (default=on). Use the spinner to increase or decrease the map's effect.

Additional Bump

This optional component can contain an additional map to modify the bump or displacement effect. It is treated as a regular bump map.

Use the toggle to enable or disable use of the map (default=on). Use the spinner to increase or decrease the map's effect.

Channel Direction group

By default, the Normals map's red channel indicates left versus right, while green indicates up versus down (and blue indicates vertical distance). The controls in this group let you adjust that interpretation.

Flip Red (X)

Flips the red channel so that left and right are reversed.

Flip Green (Y)

Flips the green channel so that up and down are reversed.

Swap Red & Green

Swaps the red and green channels to rotate the normals.

For example, if the normal is (228,178, 255), the normal points in the direction of 2 o’clock. Swapping Red and Green results in a normal of (178, 228, 255), which points in the direction of 1 o’clock.

Method group

The Method group lets you choose which coordinate to use on the normals. These controls are the same as those in the Projection Options dialog.

  • Tangent(The default.) Project at a tangent to the target object's surface.

    This is the method to use for objects that both move and deform, such as animated characters.

  • Local XYZProject using the object's local coordinates.

    This method can be used for stationary or moving objects, but not for objects that deform: if the object deforms, the projection will appear incorrect at some frames.

  • ScreenProject using screen coordinates; that is, flat projection in the Z axis. X is horizontal, increasing in a positive direction to the right; Y is vertical, increasing in a positive direction upward; and Z is perpendicular to the screen, increasing in a positive direction toward the viewer.

    This method is useful mainly for stationary objects seen only from a single angle; for example, a statue seen through a window.

  • WorldProject using world coordinates.

    This is useful mainly for objects that don't move or deform; otherwise, a moving object with world-projected normals will appear to “swim” through the texture.