July 30, 2010

Normal Maps

One of the coolest techniques we used on creating the characters for the Toy Story 3 game is that we relied heavily on normal maps. Most of the detail you see in this Hamm Mother Ship is basically normal maps. For those who don't understand how a normal map works...he's my take.
When creating characters for games, you want detail...lots of detail..however, adding the detail in your geometry mesh is very expensive as far as calculating and memory...not to mention time consuming for the modeler to build it all in 3d....so we compensate by creating a bump/ normal map in the texture that holds the detail, rather than the geometry....got it?
Although the Ship has indentations, ridges, etc...its really mostly a smooth mesh. The ridges and indentations are in the map. Cool huh?

No comments: