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No Normal Maps?


Kris Messmer
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There are already normal maps in SL. For now it is a limited set of maps you find in the Build Tool's Texture tab.

The feature has not yet been added to mesh. The challenge is in getting that data stored and figuring out what poorly made normal maps will do to performance and cost. Expect to see this feature discussed some time after mesh is working well and some what stabilized. Even then I doubt it will be a high priority.

Until then one has to use the normal map in their modeling tool to bake a texture with the normal map created detail. then use that texture in SL. Because this is far more efficient for SL, it is unlikely LL will be in any hurry to add the feature to mesh. But, I could be wrong.

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Kris Messmer wrote:

I'm really confused as why there are not here. If the engine can render 3d, it can render normals, correct?

HI, yes it can render them, but right now they can only be used to change the Linden water ripples in the Windlight settings.

There are a few simple hard coded bump maps for objects but nothing custom right now. LL would have to go through the same cost vs. benefits pain that meshes are going through right now, the extra textures for normal maps and the rendering work won't be zero. :/

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After seeing the penalties that we may be getting with mesh, I shudder at the thought of how costs will skyrocket when you have a normal and specular map on an object. Oh well. If the "materials" project ever takes off, it wont be less than 2 years from now before entering beta :P And we will all likely be broke and hungry by then

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