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okay so. my plan is to add a normal map and texture to a low poly mesh. the normal map should be a combination of the high poly model and a texture. they should be baked together. I know you can bake them separately but that's not what I need. I need them together. could you please help? I think I figured it out but the mesh cant connect to itself or everything is messed up. ex) it will work on a plane but not on a cube. please help and thank you for doing so. :)

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  • $\begingroup$ A normal map and a color texture contain different kinds of information. You can combine them, but it will make a pretty useless texture in most cases.. Are you sure this is what you want to do? Usually the color texture and the normal map are applied separately, as separate textures. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jul 12 '14 at 0:05
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See How does normal baking work? on how normal maps are created.

You can't bake other textures and the normal into a normal map because the normal map encodes the direction of the normals in the RGB channels of the image representing the map.

From Bump_and_Normal (Linked to 2.4 because there is more info)

Normal maps in Blender store a normal as follows:

  • Red maps from (0-255) to X (-1.0 - 1.0)
  • Green maps from (0-255) to Y (-1.0 - 1.0)
  • Blue maps from (0-255) to Z (0.0 - 1.0)

Since can add more than one texture to a model this isn't a restriction.

EDIT: A normal vector is perpendicular to a face its coordinates (x,y,z) are stored as a pixel in an image map.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ im sorry. im a little confused. can you explain some please? :) thank you for trying to answer though. so. how do video games have normal maps? in video games it looks like they have a high poly normal map and then a texture normal map combined and then applied to a low poly mesh so you have say, smooth surface on a cube but then rocky normal map on the curved surface too. $\endgroup$ – Ethan Smith Jul 11 '14 at 6:07
  • $\begingroup$ like if you have a rope with 3 sides but it looks round because of the normal map but then you might have a tear in it so they add the normal map of the tear into it too. if im making any sense $\endgroup$ – Ethan Smith Jul 11 '14 at 6:09
  • $\begingroup$ @EthanSmith I added an image to explain it a bit more. Could you give a reference for a game engine. If you have a low poly model like your rope example you would need additional information (from a high poly rope) to add fake geometry to the rendering. Interpolating the normals of a 3-sided rope couldn't do that. $\endgroup$ – stacker Jul 11 '14 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ okay. so those lines are perpendicular to the faces theyre protruding from? I think that's what you mean. so then. if I were to bake a normal map of the mesh it would look.... like the mesh... but then if I change the.... "blue" or the "Z"... I could also get the texture applied to the mesh into the normal map? is that what youre saying? and then say what I just said works... I could then apply the combined mesh and texture normal to a low poly mesh to have a more detailed low poly mesh look high poly with a texture normal? $\endgroup$ – Ethan Smith Jul 11 '14 at 6:48
  • $\begingroup$ I don't understand what you mean by " get the texture applied to the mesh into the normal map?" Have you already read: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/2466/… ? $\endgroup$ – stacker Jul 11 '14 at 6:55
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You will have to convert your color map to a normal map and then assigning 2 normal maps in your texture slots. Then you will have to create a new image and bake the normals (not from multires). This way you have your 2 normal maps combined in 1.

-Bert

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