Friday, 3 February 2012

Normal Maps of Coins Part 2

In my last post I produced a normal map of the side of a British pound coin. It was an early attempt at following this normal map tutorial, and the results were passable. But on evaluating the results I also identified some fine tuning I could make to my own technique at the photograph stage to make the edges of the raised areas sharper. This was the result.

On this occasion I did increase the angle of the light, holding it higher above the coin to reduce the shadow length, and as you can see this results in much sharper edges. The benefits of a sharper normal map are instantly visible in the 3D render below.

Unlike the pound coins, which needed a grime effect adding to help define the grooves, the ten pence texture is a shiny metal, with details visible purely from the shape information held in the normal map. Every scratch, dent and line you see here is from the normal map, making it look much more real.

In this image the two pence coin uses the same photos the normal map was generated from, though put through a different process, to create dirty areas and reflective areas on the coin to mimic age and wear.

Full instructions in a future post (when I have more time).