DigitalEro Offline

Normal map is borked in SFM

Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:47:53

Bilge Rat 16

I was trying to do a quick port from XPS (it only took me 2-3 weeks so far!) and after loading the test files in SFM I found there's a little problem with the normal map, i.e. large zones of pelvis, torso and legs look covered in shi... err, strange brown shadows. Taking a look at the normal map I noticed a large amount of green color on the same zones, and more in general on the whole texture. It's worth noting that the same model looks absolutely fine in Xnalara and (judging from the screenshots) the mod it was ported from. Now, I thought that making a new normal map would have been easier and effective than attempting to correct the old texture (is that even possible?). Several hours of googling and experimenting later, I had: 1)baked a new texture in Blender (no effect, texture looks almost completely flat, maybe the model is too low poly) 2)tried to get a normal map out of the diffuse with a GIMP plugin (this gave me the best result so far, I mean, the result is not terrible, but still... it looks kinda off. Too sharp in some zones and no detail where it counts, + there's a bad overall image noise) 3)used Crazybumps (I read it's one of the best programs out there, but from what I see it doesn't give the user enough control on settings, casts a light from a weird angle and OH MY GOD THOSE SEAMS) So in short, I'm stuck and I'm looking for some advice on how to proceed. Either for fixing the old texture or making a new one. Thanks.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:32:44


I had that problem before. I used VTFEdit to import the diffuse texture, and it can convert it to bumpmap by itself. It doesn't have a boat-load of features, but it should get your model working right in SFM. If that fixes it, you can make edits to the new bumpmap with GIMP, just if you want to do some fine tuning. Or, GIMP has a fairly good Normal mapping plugin, with a few customizing features, that might help too. That's what I've done in the past, and I hope it helps. :)