Sorry your browser is not supported!

You are using an outdated browser that does not support modern web technologies, in order to use this site please update to a new browser.

Browsers supported include Chrome, FireFox, Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer 10+ or Microsoft Edge.

Program Announcements / Knot-So Normal Mapper

Author
Message
jason p sage
12
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 10th Jun 2007
Location: Ellington, CT USA
Posted: 23rd Dec 2009 20:50
Hi folks.. we just released made a neat tool to help when creating media for use with shaders. It creates normal maps and displacement maps good for Parallax Shading.



More info: http://www.jegas.com/index.php/jegas-products/165-introducing-knotso-normal.html

I'd really be sweet if TGC picked this up so we could sell it here!

Well, the download is good to preview what it does... have a look see

--Jason P Sage

Math89
15
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 23rd Jan 2004
Location: UK
Posted: 24th Dec 2009 16:36
30 dollars for a simple greyscale converter? This is definitely too expensive.
Making a normal map from a diffuse texture isn't simply turning it to grey and assuming that it's a good enough approximation.
jason p sage
12
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 10th Jun 2007
Location: Ellington, CT USA
Posted: 24th Dec 2009 17:17
LOL - Ouch - Considering you haven't seen the algorithm I think you might be jumping the gun.

There is more to it than that. We've also been working on making it so you can manipulate how the normals are generated via a properties dialog form. Basically you can get results like with Crazy Bump for WAY less money.

The feature we are thinking about adding, but would jump up the price is the ability to load a model, and then export a completed model with added layers (for the shader) with the normal maps and displacement added for you.

david w
13
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 18th Dec 2005
Location: U.S.A. Michigan
Posted: 24th Dec 2009 19:23
This program was made because, I thought the price for similar utilities was far to expensive. I needed a way to make normal maps for my game in a cheap and efficent manner. This progam does just that.

I wanted others to be able to take advantage of normal mapping for their games also. We all know that normal maps are needed by shaders and even the Fixed Funciton Pipeline, so you can get the results you need to make a simple 2-triangle plane, look like a high poly object.

This product does just that, and with the ideas we are tossing around to make it better, I think it is definatly a viable option for someone who is looking to generate normal maps cheap and efficently. (if you buy now, any future version will be free).
Math89
15
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 23rd Jan 2004
Location: UK
Posted: 25th Dec 2009 13:17
I don't need to see the algorithm, the result is self explanatory.
If you want to improve it, try to think about these things:
1- normal generation based upon the light direction on the texture.
2- make different normals frequencies by combining the normal maps made from different blurs of the heightmap.
3- Add support for some basic ambient occlusion using the heightmap.

While the first one might be difficult (I have no idea how programs like CrazyBumps do), the other 2 shouldn't be a problem.
jason p sage
12
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 10th Jun 2007
Location: Ellington, CT USA
Posted: 25th Dec 2009 14:34 Edited at: 25th Dec 2009 14:49
Hmm - We agree and work is already in progress and at a minimum in planning/discussion stage.

Remember - our first goal was easy, cheap, great quality without having to edit each result. This we accomplished. Next we are going to add multiple files processing so you can convert a ton of files in one pass in an automated fashion.

For number 1, I have code I wrote that actually makes a 3D model from a texture (using the same kinds of logic used for Knot So v1.0. This, for example allows you to load a brick wall and fly the camera around a 3D model of a brick wall face... and by adding functionality akin a terrain editor and using the resultant 3D "model" of the texture/landscape - we can generate normals from the individual points and take into account light direction as well. This particular code was written with DarkGDK and was actually a lot of fun.

For number 2 - this sounds like you mean allowing folks to edit more than one displacement map and then combining them and generating normals from that - I have to defer to you and David because I never heard the term frequencies used with normals - but I think I understand.

One thing that we were discussing was implementing a "displacement map editor" that would be like a 2D terrain editor that's pretty light weight... and I think this might be a natural for your #3.

Well, crazy bumps basically has a few things you can tweak and what not in the way of algorithm parameters and this will probably be the most definite thing piece that will be in version 1.1 at a minimum.

--Jason

[edit] Though we don't create a grayscale and make the normals from that the way you suggested. We gather as much information as we can from the color channels and create the normals from that the way that is recommended on every game developer site and reference book we used. This is important to specify I think and the results do look great with hardly any effort on the developers part.[/edit]

Zipir
10
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 11th Aug 2009
Location: Turkey
Posted: 30th Dec 2009 16:38
Shadermap pro only 19.95$

http://www.shadermap.renderingsystems.com/sm_pro.php
Zipir
10
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 11th Aug 2009
Location: Turkey
Posted: 30th Dec 2009 16:53 Edited at: 30th Dec 2009 19:32
FOR KNOT-SO NORMAL MAPER
%100 GPU usage...
HD5770 fan speed %75 cooling at 80C becarefull
david w
13
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 18th Dec 2005
Location: U.S.A. Michigan
Posted: 31st Dec 2009 17:54 Edited at: 31st Dec 2009 17:56
@Math89 & Zipir, I have looked into the issues you both spoke of and they have been addressed.

You both mentioned price, and I have to admit I didn't really realize the price the competition was offering, We are going to adjust this to a more reasonable amount.

Zipir mentioned that his gpu was running at full speed, I also looked into this and have changed the software to lock to the vertical sync of the monitor. I think that should fix the issue.

Math89 I have since rewrote the code that calculates the final normal map and am using a layering technique. The result is the normals are more distinct and detailed. However it now takes a bit longer to generate a map.

We are going to upload the "fixed" program when we have the sliders in place so the user can tweak them.

I really appreciate the feedback, and if anyone else has any issues please bring them up and we will take the appropriate action to see that everything is as it should be. Also, C17 has recieved a few more commands because of this. If anyone would like to see a feature added to knot-so or C17 please by all means say so and I will try my best to implement said feature.

Thank you.

NOTE: This is my first "complete" program and I think it does the job as advertised.
kordman916
11
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 5th Oct 2007
Location:
Posted: 1st Jan 2010 01:50
Search "Happy Normals" in the search bar and see what pops up if you want a free normal mapper.


Dell Optiplex GX280,3.4 GHZ Pentium 4 processor
1 Gig DDR2 ram,Geforce 8500 GT 512mb
NeX the Fairly Fast Ferret
14
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 10th Apr 2005
Location: The Fifth Plane of Oblivion
Posted: 1st Jan 2010 14:14 Edited at: 1st Jan 2010 14:16
Didn't nVidia do a tool for this?

Though I will say, your tool does a good job from the samples. The final result is pretty nice.

Athlon64 2.7gHz->OC 3.9gHz, 31C, MSi 9500GT->OC 1gHz core/2gHz memory, 48C, 4Gb DDR2 667, 500Gb Seagate + 80Gb Maxtor + 40Gb Maxtor = 620Gb, XP Home
Air cooled, total cost £160
jason p sage
12
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 10th Jun 2007
Location: Ellington, CT USA
Posted: 1st Jan 2010 23:50
@ Nex: Thank you NeX, we are trying

We've listened to everyone's responses and are responding to them - lowered price; and we are adding features; but I must say folks here seem a little harsher than I'd expect from my programming brethren... Frankly; if I personally knew about the 20$ tool - I might not of recommended we bother taking this from an in-house-only tool to something we packaged up and sold. The "competition" we were aware of costs tons more than KnotSo. The results do look great I think...

Frankly, when it comes to coding - finishing or making a presentable anything with software when life is as busy as it is is a respectable accomplishment in my opinion. I mean... there are tons of FPS games, thank goodness folks don't get hammered every time they make a video game of a certain genre that already exists... LOL... What? You made a side scroller? That's lame! lol... Seriously - what I think is cool is that Knot so was made from our own game engine and tools and it looks decent - that was pretty significant if you ask me. David has done some amazing work in the DirectX realm and frankly I'm a fan because we can do some pretty cool stuff now in Dark Basic, DarkGDK and our own system - we've made a lot of progress and learned a ton, and as you know - keeping up with stuff isn't trivial and we are doing it.

--Jason

BatVink
Moderator
16
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 4th Apr 2003
Location: Gods own County, UK
Posted: 3rd Jan 2010 14:34
Nice to see a mature and positive approach to some harsh feedback I hope you end up with a good product, and your critics appreciate your response.

Login to post a reply

Server time is: 2019-08-21 17:18:36
Your offset time is: 2019-08-21 17:18:36