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In the Cycles node editor, for materials, you can get some information about the object, which the material is being applied to, by using a Geometry node.

Among others, you can get the objects Normal and... it's True Normal. This suggests that the first is fake or not as accurate, which makes no sense. This leads me to my question - what is the technical difference between an object's Normal and it's True Normal?

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  • $\begingroup$ My first thought is that Normal includes any normalmap or bumpmap and True Normal gives you the normal of the actual geometry. I'm guessing here, so I won't give this as an answer. $\endgroup$ – user7952 Dec 20 '14 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ @SixthOfFour I looked it up on the Blender Wiki, and it looks like you are correct. $\endgroup$ – VRM Dec 21 '14 at 3:04
  • $\begingroup$ @NoviceInDisguise I've already read your answer, and upvoted it. ;) $\endgroup$ – user7952 Dec 21 '14 at 3:08
  • $\begingroup$ @someonewithpc Could you please accept the answer? Or does it not answer your question? $\endgroup$ – VRM Apr 14 '15 at 18:32
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The Blender Wiki states that

Normal = Shading normal at the surface (includes smooth normals and bump mapping).

True Normal = Geometry or flat normal of the surface.

The normal value takes into account your shading technique, while the true normal uses the actual face direction.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is there any other way to influence the normal in blender? I thought it was effectively normal = smooth shaded normals (if enabled), and true normal = flat shaded normals. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Dec 20 '14 at 20:45
  • $\begingroup$ That is basically it, the normal Normal includes Bump Mapping, however. $\endgroup$ – VRM Dec 21 '14 at 3:02

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