User Guide (Version 1.13)

Normal Mapping Best Practices

The following represent some best practices for consideration when creating normal maps:

  • Not all colors represent valid normals. Do not apply bicubic filter, sharpening, or alpha blending with normal maps. Use the CryTIF plugin to visualize such problems.

  • If you have to resize a normal map, use bi-linear instead of bi-cubic interpolation.

  • Use the CryTIF exporter presets when saving normal maps.

  • Lay out UV maps so that there is a decent compromise between space utilization and stretching.

  • Render normal maps using tangent-basis calculations with swizzle coordinates in X+Y-Z+.

  • Mirroring UVs requires extra work to hide with normal. Be sure the normal directions are the same across seams.

  • Give normal maps an extruded edge of pixels. That way, there won't be any errors generated by mip-map levels.

  • Do not anti-alias normal maps against the background.

  • Don't apply color filters or other manipulation such as grain or noise to a normal map itself.