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    • CommentAuthorMGCD
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2015 edited

    These are the methods that work for me, if I am incorrect, let's get this straight so we can together make this valid common knowledge that can be found easily. (NL2 Resource Thread) This will hopefully prevent the frequent repeated questions that have been answered and can be found via searching comments, not topics. I think many people don't search through comments and rather search topics, so this thread helps counter that problem by allowing those who do search to find a specific topic. I am sure many people will still look right past the resource thread ask for this, but at least linking it is much easier now.

    In this tutorial I will explain how to bump map legitimately (Normal/Height) and two other fake tricks that sometimes yield some unexpected results. The point of this is to enlighten those about real bump mapping, while giving them two more tricks up their sleeves for creating different, more complex NL2MAT's in the future. -MG

    NL2 Bump Mapping:

    1. Select the Scenery tab, then navigate to the NL2MAT Editor. Open it and click New, then save with an adequate name for the intended use.

    2. Click over to the RGB Color tab, then tick Bump Lighting.

    3. Within the NL2MAT Editor click over to the Texture Tab, then tick the check boxes for Texture Units 0 & 1.

    4a. If you are using the same texture for both the texture map and the bump map (Fake Bump Mapping: sometimes a great trick for fake bump mapping for those who do not have the tools to generate a normal map from their texture map), then do this:

    In the TU0 AND TU1 "Setup" dialog, in the "Type" tab, tick the second option: 2D (File specified in Model File)

    4a. After this navigate to the first texture unit (TU0) and click over to the "Mode" tab, then tick the second option: Bump Mode (Using Normal Map)
    *If that made the overall appearance worse, check the third option, Bump Mode (Using Height Map)

    It's really hit or miss with 4a, since it's a cheating way of doing it - but you can also set the mode to be height mapping using this technique and also try that. This has most of the time worked great for me for certain applications. Obviously 4b is the preferred method because it's more exact and genuine.

    4b. If you have a separate, Crazy Bump or otherwise generated displacement map/normal map (Real Bump Mapping), then do this:

    In the TU0 "Setup" dialog, in the "Type" tab, tick the second option: 2D (File specified in Model File)
    In the TU1 "Setup" dialog, in the "Type" tab, tick the third option: 2D File (You will need to specify the file location of your map by using the explorer.)

    4b. After this navigate to the SECOND texture unit (TU1) and click over to the "Mode" tab.
    *If using a normal map, tick the second option for Bump Mode (Using Normal Map)
    *If using a displacement map, tick the third option: Bump Mode (Using Height Map)

    5. Open the affected NL2SCO with the NL2SCO Editor, and click over to the Materials tab. Click Add, then replace the texture in the model file with the NL2MAT you just created.

    To know the exact texture name so you can specify it in the NL2MAT explorer go into Sketchup, open the Paint Bucket, or Material editor, and select the eye dropper tool - this is under the select tab, the bottom icon in the stack at the top right of the Material browser.
    Use this tool to select a face in the model that has the texture NEEDING to be bump mapped. In the material browser window, the top text field should show the exact name for the texture as it will appear in NL2.

    6. Once the replacement in the NL2MAT editor is complete, Save, then Reload the scene object.
    • CommentAuthorMGCD
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2015 edited
    (continued from above)

    Here is a quick reference test.

    -The columns on left have method 4a (Fake) applied and the columns on the right have method 4b (Real) applied.

    -The top left has method 4a with Mode set to option three (Height map) and the bottom left has method 4a with Mode set to option two (Normal map).
    -The top right has method 4b with Mode set to option three (Height map) and the bottom left has method 4b with Mode set to option two (Normal map).

    You can see how the best out of all of these is the the bottom right, which was method 4b used in combination with a normal map generated from Crazy Bump. That's the thing sometimes Real, or Normal/Height Mapping (4b) will look better than Fake Bump Mapping (4a) and vice versa, just know there is a difference between the two final results. Using texture map as normal map is a hit or miss since it's RGB vector, so the more the texture map contains red, green, and blue, the better method 4a, or Fake Bump Mapping with Normal map, works. (Each color out of RGB specifies a light direction, that's why the bottom left column looks dull. There is only a lot of red in the texture map so there is only one direction of light. That's why I said the more of each color you have the better the final result while using 4a with Normal Bump Mapping.)

    In this case the best Real bump mapping method was 4b with Mode set to option two (Normal map), and the best Fake method was 4a with Mode set to option three (Height map).

    There is a reason for using two texture units, one is the base texture, and the following TU is the map being applied to it. Don't believe me? Make a NL2MAT with only one TU, and set bump mapping mode on it - then replace a texture and watch as it disappears! It's still there, but as a bump map (or effect to be applied), not the texture itself. Sorry - horrible explanation there, but you should get the idea.

    EDIT: Apologies for the bump! But some changes have been made to the text and the total length increased to be over the character count, thus a second post had to be added. Please don't comment unless you have a question.
    • CommentAuthornSeven
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2015
    Nicely done sir - would love to have more of these as a reference.