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When an object with a normal map is rendered, there are always artifacts of the polygons of the original model on the outline of the model. Is there a way to make them invisible? Here is what I mean -

  • What I get (notice the outline) - enter image description here

  • What I'm aiming for (notice the outline) - enter image description here

I think that this would impossible because if the outline polygons were invisible, the model itself would be invisible. Any ideas?

Question Update: I thought of this idea because when a model with normal map is rotated, the outlining polygons are not shaded by the map. I was thinking of making that area invisible. Is it possible? Here is a render with more extreme example to show what I mean - enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think this is possible. There's no true substitute for high-poly details. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jun 26 '14 at 19:56
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A normal map will allow to simulate high poly details on a low poly mesh (using light) but won't change the shape of it. You won't be able to remove the visibility of the topology on borders with good result. You can try a fresnel or layer weight node to mix a transparent but this will make holes. This could work on a volume but not on a surface shader.

All you can really do is adding a subsurf to add some topo and smooth the borders.

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