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Program Announcements / Mr Normal, a specular and normal map generator, released

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GrumpyOne
10
Years of Service
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Joined: 27th Nov 2007
Location: London, UK
Posted: 2nd Aug 2014 21:43 Edited at: 2nd Aug 2014 21:50
Mr Normal Launched by HPTWare

Mr Normal is a normal and specular map generator for windows. Mr Normal creates maps from diffuse textures, functions and normal map painting to produce unique assets for your projects. A video introduction is shown below

YouTube Intro Video For Mr Normal

Normal Maps from Diffuse Textures

Mr Normal can generate normal and specular maps from diffuse textures. Normal maps can be customized by changing the balance of fine, medium and large topographic features, the over all intensity (z weight) and the sense (y-up, y-down, x-right, x-left) of the normal map. Generating normal and specular maps from diffuse textures is quick and easy.



Normal Maps from Functions

Mr Normal allows normal maps to be generated from a range of mathematical functions allowing complex topographies to be generated. Normal maps generated from mathematical functions are highly useful in creating maps for architectural features and allow a single diffuse texture to be used in combination with several different normal maps to generate a wide range of different objects in your end application. Up to three functions can be layered and combined using add, subtract and penetrate to produce an enormous range of normal map topographies. Functions include perlin noise that can generate natural looking surfaces. Functions can be combined with normal maps generated from diffuse textures.

Painting on Normal Maps

Normal maps created in Mr Normal, or existing maps, can be modified using drawing tools in Mr Normal. Various brushes allow features to be added and emphasised within normal maps to generate truly unique maps. Tools include smooth and sharpen brushes that decrease or increase the slope of existing topography.

Fixing Normal Maps.

Mr Normal allows the intensity and sense (y-up, y-down, x-right, x-left) to be changed easily in an existing normal map.

Previews

Mr Normal allows created normal maps to be previewed on several geometries using several different diffuse textures.

Batch Processing

Normal maps can be generated in batch using different user-defined presets including functions. Mr Normal exports to a wide range of formats including DDS.

Licenses

Free License
The free version of Mr Normal allows you to create normal maps from diffuse textures up to 1024x1024 pixels in size. The free version provides you with a quick and easy means of producing custom normal maps from diffuse textures.

Reward License
The Reward version of Mr Normal is for our existing registered users of Medusa Pro (the rock generator) and Forester Pro (the tree generator). We decided that Mr Normal would be ideal for users of our other products and allow generation of normal maps for trees and modification of normal maps provided with Medusa Pro and rock packs. As a thanks for purchasing our other products the reward version of Mr Normal allows you to generate normal maps from diffuse textures at any size and allows you to modify existing normal maps. To upgrade to the Reward version simply enter your serial code for Medusa or Forester in the register window of Mr Normal. This offer will include all future purchases of Medusa Pro and Forester Pro.

Pro license
The Pro License of Mr Normal includes all of its more advanced features including functions, batch processing and normal map painting. A pro version license is $30. To upgrade to Mr Normal Pro enter the serial code in the register window of Mr Normal, no further downloads are necessary.

You can download Mr Normal from our website.

www.hptware.co.uk/mrnormal.php

GrumpyOne - the natural state of the programmer

Green Gandalf
13
Years of Service
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Joined: 3rd Jan 2005
Location: Cornwall UK
Posted: 24th Aug 2014 19:41
Hi GrumpyOne

I've just downloaded this and given it a quick test on my laptop.

Looks nice but I found it hard to use:

1. View>Normal from the main menu didn't seem to do anything.

2. The Windows Close button (the red cross) in Draw Mode didn't work.

3. It was painfully slow to rotate when I wanted to change the view of a preview cube for example.

4. I couldn't see how to modify the specular map.

5. I found the options brought up by pressing the mouse wheel didn't always seem to work as I expected (but that might be me ).

6. There was a noticeable delay when changing the view. Why?

7. There's a lot of fan noise while the program is running, even when I'm simply viewing the diffuse texture. Why?

8. I found the options for the X and Y coordinates confusing initially. Normal maps usually have positive Z as the "Up" direction (i.e. pointing away from the surface), with X and Y being the two directions across the surface. I then realised "Up" referred to the direction Up the screen and similarly X. Not sure of the best way round that. Perhaps a bit of explanation in the Help file?

9. When I tried to use Open from the main File menu, the Save Preset dialogue box opened.

10. The File>New option from the main menu was very confusing. I clicked Add to open a diffuse texture. That was fine - and then I wasn't sure what to do next. Open seemed to try to open a Preset. Create seemed to be the right button to press next and then I pressed Cancel to close that window. The main window then immediately lost focus - but was still open on the Windows Task Bar. That happened repeatedly but not consistently.

11. The Windows red cross close button on the File>New dialogue box didn't seem to do anything.

Despite these issues the program looks very promising.



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GrumpyOne
10
Years of Service
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Joined: 27th Nov 2007
Location: London, UK
Posted: 30th Sep 2014 23:32
Mr Normal Version 1.01 Released

Mr Normal is a windows application that quickly and easily creates normal, specular and height maps. Mr Normal can create maps from diffuse textures and mathematical functions and includes drawing features to manually draw, smooth and sharpen normal maps. Mr Normal can also edit previously created normal maps. The reward version of Mr Normal, which allows unrestricted creation of normal maps from diffuse textures and editing of existing maps is free for customers of our other products Forester Pro and Medusa Pro.

We've been working hard and have just released our first updated version 1.01 of Mr Normal. The new version incorporates many new features requested by users and a massive performance enhancement. The new features are:

(1) Graphics Card Acceleration

We've updated Mr Normal's engine to utilize the graphics card increasing the speed of normal map generation by up to 20x. A 2048x2048 normal map can be generated in less than 2 secs (depending on your graphics card). Acceleration requires a graphics card compatible with shader model 3.0 (this should be all but the oldest cards) and is available for processing of square power of 2 images (e.g. 128x128, 256x256...etc...4096x4096). On older graphics cards and for non square power of 2 images Mr Normal will still process images using the CPU.

(2) Height Map Generation

Mr Normal can now export height maps along with normal and specular maps for use in parallax mapping. Height maps up to 1024x1024 are available in the Reward Version. There are no restriction on height map sizes in the Pro version.

(3) Shadowed Diffuse Image Generation

Mr Normal now allows the generation of new diffuse textures. New textures are generated by combining the topography extracted from one diffuse texture, optionally combined with functions, and applied to a base diffuse texture. The concept is shown below and allows the simple generation of new diffuse textures. Shadowed Diffuse images up to 1024x1024 can be generated with the Reward Version.

(4) New Export Menu

With more things to export, we've added a new export menu so you can select which items to export and any base diffuse image to be used to create shadowed diffuse images.

(5) Simplified Create Menu

We've simplified the create menu by allowing you to toggle functions, as per users suggestions.

You can download Mr Normal from http://www.hptware.co.uk/mrnormal.php

GrumpyOne - the natural state of the programmer - Forester Pro (Tree & Plant Creator), Medusa Pro (Rock Creator), Mr Normal (Normal Map Generator) http://www.hptware.co.uk

Burning Feet Man
10
Years of Service
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Joined: 4th Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 1st Oct 2014 00:22
Unfortunately I can't get a simple mapped cube workflow going in this latest version. If you'd like me to troubleshoot things further, let me know.

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GrumpyOne
10
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Joined: 27th Nov 2007
Location: London, UK
Posted: 2nd Oct 2014 14:33 Edited at: 2nd Oct 2014 14:44
Normal map returns as just a single colour? We've had reports that graphics acceleration doesn't work on all graphics cards.

We've just uploaded a new version of 1.01 to address issues with graphics acceleration. The changes are:

(1) Mr Normal now tests the graphics card to ensure it performs as expected, previously it simply queried the graphics card to ensure its specs were ok. Graphics acceleration is disabled if the card fails the test.

(2) Graphics acceleration can now be disabled from under the File menu (if the card past the test).

We will look in more detail at why the GP-GPU implementation seems to be graphics card dependent (it really shouldn't be). We are trying to test on more systems with different cards.

Just as a sweetener here is a preview of the new shadowed diffuse export. This allows you to generate normals from one diffuse image and combine them with a second diffuse image to generate a new diffuse texture.



GrumpyOne - the natural state of the programmer - Forester Pro (Tree & Plant Creator), Medusa Pro (Rock Creator), Mr Normal (Normal Map Generator) http://www.hptware.co.uk

Burning Feet Man
10
Years of Service
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Joined: 4th Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 3rd Oct 2014 13:50
Don't forget that many computers & laptops come with dual graphics card solutions these days, and you'll need to detect, test & set which hardware that you're application is going to use. For example, my laptop that I tested your application on has an Intel i5 graphics chip, complemented by a Geforce 420.

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