Is Blenders normals that are using Object space the same as what other engines/applications refer to as bent normals?

Bent normals are Tangent normals mixed with some Ambient Occulsion in some way, so to me I don't think object space normals are indeed what other refer to as bent normals.

However other posts on here confuse the matter, hinting that they are the same!.

Edit: To give some clarity, bent normal look to be the average of the unoccluded directions.

  • $\begingroup$ As someone who is unfamiliar with "bent" normals, your explanation doesn't seem to make any sense. Normals have threedimensional XYZ data and ambient occlusion has 1D brightness color data. The two can't be mixed reasonably. This is definitely not what Object Space Normals are. $\endgroup$
    – Leander
    Apr 14, 2019 at 12:04
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I need to generate the bent normal because of a program I want to use (it requires them). Here is some information on what a bent normal is; research.cs.wisc.edu/graphics/Courses/779-s2003/final_projects/… It looks to be average of the unoccluded directions $\endgroup$
    – Greener
    Apr 14, 2019 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


No its not the same, this is object and tangent normals are related to the direction of the face at 'that' point. One is aligned to the world (object) and the other is aligned to the axis of the mesh (tangent).

Bent normals are as stated (after some research) the average of the unoccluded directions, causing a curve/lip/bend as they rotate.

Further information on what a bent normal map is; https://docs.unrealengine.com/en-us/Engine/Rendering/LightingAndShadows/BentNormalMaps


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