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Thursday, 16 June 2016

Creating Normal maps From A Photo

A week or two ago I was looking at a BlenderGuru video that mentioned CrazyBump as a tool for creating a variety of maps from a texture image. But that's $99.
While searching for more information I found this which led me to these GIMP plugins:

normalmap -   (haven't tried this)
Insane Bump (Python) -    (tried it but it needs normalmap?)
Insane Bump (C) -  (with the DLL in the same folder this works)

My first play with it (the C version) worked nicely. Here's thumbs of the maps created from one of my photos:

Here's a Poser 9 render using these maps together:

Here's the shader I used:

And here's what the render was like with just the texture:

I did some checks and confirmed that the normal maps created by the plugin are correctly oriented for Poser. They're tangent space, with green being down-up (0 is down, 1 is up) and red left-right (0 is left, 1 is right) when viewing the normal map in GIMP. That makes sense to me even if it doesn't to you!  ;o)

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Blender Fluid Simulation - Reminder To Self

Back in August 2014 I did a Poser render of a melting Andy (Overheating II in the RDNA gallery). In my comments I noted that I'd used the Blender fluid simulation to melt him using these Blender 2.4 instructions -

I'm now using Blender 2.7 and I wanted to do something similar, but ran into problems trying to use old 2.4 UI instructions with 2.7. Luckily I found a nice simple "Creating Your First Fluid Simulation in Blender" video on Youtube that cleared the UI things up (it's all just a case of knowing where to look in the new UI - the steps seem to be the same).

So I'm now having fun playing with fluids in Blender again.

However, I'd forgotten that since I wanted to export a single frame of the fluid as an OBJ I had to do something else. A quick google came up with this, which rang a very loud bell - "Select the frame that you want, select the fluid and hit Alt+C, click conver to mesh (keep orignal). this way it'll keep the fluid bake data, incase you want to select a new frame. Anyway you will now have to objects in the viewport that look the same, one will be the fluid sim data, the other will be a mesh, select the mesh and export it as an Obj." ( )

In 2.7 the words have changed but it's the same - Alt-C second option is "Mesh from Curve/Meta/Surf/Text", and tick "Keep Original". Also be sure to tick "Selected Only when exporting the OBJ otherwise it'll export the domain cube etc too!

Here's a quick crappy test render in Poser: