Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sophie Houlden teaches you what 3D normals / "normal maps" are... with lots of pictures!

The indie developer Sophie Houlden has posted a great visual explanation of what "normals" are, within a 3D video game art context. Full explanation is after the jump:

(And as far as I know: they're called "normals" because of the vector math we do to derive their values -- "normalization" is the process of standardizing a vector so that it is exactly 1 unit long... "normals" are usually normalized vectors.)