I'm finding it very difficult to set up a basic material with diffuse, alpha and normal maps. Although I've managed to create a material with diffuse and normal maps, I can't manage to get the alpha channel working correctly. I would like to use three separate maps as shown below:




Below is the desired result of combining the maps with a single spotlight shining from above.


Although I found a few examples of setting up materials with transparency online, I couldn't get anything to work correctly. Instead of me posting lots of pictures of my failed setup, could someone explain the correct way to combine these maps? I would really like to see both how to do it in the standard material/texture panels, and also in the node editor. I would like the result to appear in the real-time textured viewport mode.

In order to help explain what I am trying to set up, here is a picture of the current result of the material as it looks with lighting in my scene. I'm viewing using GLSL, but if I switch to multitexture, it's entirely black. I tried rendering it, but I just get the result shown here.


UPDATE: Partial Answer

Thanks to this tutorial, I managed to achieve the result I want if I'm rendering in cycles. The problem with this is that I want a clean real-time render that works in the viewport, so I'm still only half-way to a real answer. Here's my node setup for cycles:

Cycles node setup

However, as I said, I would like to see this kind of bump mapping working with alpha in the standard real-time view:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ blender internal or cycles? $\endgroup$
    – David
    Aug 19, 2014 at 12:43
  • $\begingroup$ Multitexture illuminates per-vertex, so it will be entirely black where there are no vertices to illuminate (as is the case on a single quad). $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Aug 19, 2014 at 19:42
  • $\begingroup$ David: I'm really looking for an answer that will allow me to see it working in real-time in the viewport, since rendering is not the goal. Is the setup different for the different renderers too? $\endgroup$
    – MrFlamey
    Aug 19, 2014 at 22:33
  • $\begingroup$ I just updated the question with information about doing it in cycles. However, a weird thing I noticed in cycles is that the light does not appear to be hitting the object at the right angle; The illuminated area is off to one side, rather than perfectly centered, and I've no idea why this is. $\endgroup$
    – MrFlamey
    Aug 20, 2014 at 0:10

2 Answers 2


The only problem I see in the node setup is that the normal map image texture should be put through a normal map node to convert the color output data of the image texture to the required normal input of the shader.


If you are working in Cycles, it isn't currently possible to view the alpha channel in the textured view. The rendered view is the only current workaround.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer, but what about if I'm not using cycles? The game engine presumably supports rendering alpha cutout textures with normal maps, so I guess there is a way to set it up somehow. $\endgroup$
    – MrFlamey
    Aug 27, 2014 at 6:51
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Material view supports transparency. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Sep 22, 2014 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ @MrFlamey Are you using Blender internal render, Blender game render or cycles? Your question didn't make it clear. $\endgroup$ Sep 28, 2014 at 12:14

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