Normal maps

hi, i have just implemented DotProduct3 Bumpmapping to my app, that works fine, but the problem is how do i make normal maps? is there a tool i can use or is there some method that works? i had an idea of making a mesh in Milkshape for example (like a 64*64 grid etc) then converting each normal from xyz to rgb… is there a better way?? thanks in advance!

NVIDIA texture tools has a plugin that will take a height map and generate the color dot3 maps.

For creating a normal map out of a high poly model and it’s corresponding low poly version you can use the program by nvidia called Melody. For creating normals maps from a texture map you can use nvidia’s photoshop plugin that does this. These are located at

ATI’s dev site has similar tools too.

There is also ‘Open Render Bump’ which does the same kind of thing as Melody.


Here’s ORB:

It can capture normals and textures from highpoly to lowpoly models.

For testing purposes I recommend HeightmapToNormalmap command, just like the nvidia plugin. That command takes a TGA and turns it into a normal map with a strength value.

You can also use AddNormals command to combine two normal maps (for example a brick normal map and a concrete normal map).

More complex geometry requires capturing from models. If you use Milkshape, export to OBJ, ORB accepts .obj/.ase/.lwo.


Thanks guys…you have been a huge help!