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 Forum index » Featured Tools » Voxel Section Editor III
Manual Normals
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stucuk
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Joined: 27 Aug 2002

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:01 am    Post subject:  Manual Normals Reply with quote

Do people just use VXLSE III's auto normals or do people still manually paint them by hand?

Iv never personally worked out how people could easily work out which normal went with which direction based on their colour. (I know the latest versions use normal map like colours which technically should give you a direction if you get their RGB values but who is going to take a screenshot and get that in an image editor...)
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EVA-251
General


Joined: 20 Feb 2005
Location: Somewhere in Michigan, I suppose.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a combination of both for my voxels.

The basics are covered by auto-normals (AN5.6 with 3.54 range), I then hand-paint when necessary (flat surfaces, angled surfaces broken up by misc physical details, etc)

The newer VXLSE versions have an awesome feature with the 3d Preview window, that makes it much easier. Display -> Display Normal Vectors shows you where the normals point. That combined with the normal map-like colours makes it much easier to figure out what normals are ideal for a specific facing.
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ORA/YR modder/artist, DOOM mapper, aka evanb90
Project Lead Developer, New-Star Strike (2014-), RA Tweaked (2015-)
Former Project Lead Developer Star Strike (2005-2012), Z-Mod (2006-2007), RA1.5 (2008-2013), The Cold War (2006-2007)

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G-E
General


Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:17 am    Post subject: Re: Manual Normals Reply with quote

stucuk wrote:
Do people just use VXLSE III's auto normals or do people still manually paint them by hand?

Iv never personally worked out how people could easily work out which normal went with which direction based on their colour. (I know the latest versions use normal map like colours which technically should give you a direction if you get their RGB values but who is going to take a screenshot and get that in an image editor...)

This is precisely the question I posed when I was arguing with Banshee over resetting the normals value back to 0 so that "normalize new pixels only" in autonormals would work as written, sadly he didn't see it that way and chose an annoying hack. I say hack because aside from a few manual fixes Mig and I (possibly a few others) might do, no one else paints normals by hand as we found out.

I would argue the colour map for normals actually doesn't help, trying to match up the tone in the drawing pane with the palette is going to be hard enough, but with so many ranges so close in shade, you'd have to resort to a cheat sheet anyway. I only bother remembering a few of the important ones like 232, the rest I use picker when editing manually, since chances are all I'm doing is removing artifacts or moire. I'm not really sure there's any other solution though.

The autonormals -> new pixels function is my best friend aside from that, drawing features after the basic shape of the hull can sometimes prevent many of the inside corner blending effects normally applied by autonormals giving a crisper look. It also comes in handy when making variations of a unit, you can save the base/common part already tweaked and fixed, then normalize only the new section you added later.
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