This filter was developed and
tested for PD Howler 10 and PD Artist 10. It may work with v9.6 but we
have not tested it much for that or earlier versions. Use at your own
What is the Normal Map filter?
Normal maps were originally used to preserve higher
detail normals when
re-surfacing to a lower poly model, however, they are now used as a
general purpose replacement for bump maps. They help in conveying the
impression of geometric detail as revealed when lighting hits the
surface and casts shadows or creates specular highlights and other
similar effects (even reflection and refraction, for transparent
surfaces). A normal map is just an
image containing normals instead of height information. The image is of
course a set of RGB values, and these represent the XYZ values of the
normal vectors. That way, the
renderer doesnt have to calculate the normal from sampling from the
height map. it just reads it directly, from the normal map. If a
3D model is displayed at very low resolution, it still can show a lot of
fine details with regards to the visual aspects that are affected by
the surface curvature, hence the normal vectors along its surface.
So, normal maps are used in games
and 3D animations when you want to work with low-polygon models (3D) that
still look very detailed and realistic, as if they were very made of high
polygon detailed models. It might look like the model is made of a very fine mesh with millions of polygons, even though the geometry is defined in a few hundreds of polygons only. Learn more about the benefits of Normal Maps in
If you are a game developer, this may interest you. Your game engine may support the use of normal maps. It can also be very
useful for 3D modelers, designers and animators that need to render a
detailed object such as a landscape, but can't afford the rendering time
associated with millions of polygons. A Low-polygon model with a
detailed Normal map can often do the visual trick instead.
This is not CAD. We're not going to build that spaceship. If anything,
we'll blow it to smitherines before it comes close. It doesn't
have to be accurate. Just has to look good.
Beware: This patch is not distributed
with an installer. You will simply
download a file named Normal_Map_pf.exe,
that is meant to be added to the existing installation folder.
You will thus need to identify
the folder in which your Project Dogwaffle is installed. For most
standalone users the default path is:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Howler
But it could be elsewhere, especially if you did install it in a
location different from the default location, or if the default location
has changed. For installation from Steam, it may be in the
steamapp\common subfolder, such as this one, for Howler v10:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\PD Howler 10
Be sure to locate your installation folder.
Download and save this new version of the
Important: Be sure to scan it once more
through your antivirus. Never trust downloaded
files, especially executable (.exe) files,
even if you trust the poster. After all, if
the site was hacked, it could have been
tampered with. So always be on the safe side,
scan your downloads with a good, up-to-date
antivirus. We do the same, every time, no
exceptions. If you need help with this, don't
hesitate to ask.
Then copy the file into the current Folder
where you have PD Howler or PD Artist installed.
After placing a copy of the file there, start
project Dogwaffle again so that it may discover the presence of the new
filter and list it in the Miscellaneous filters view.
After you restart PD Howler or PD Artist, you should see the Normal Map filter in the Filter > All plugins > Filters sub-menu.
How to Use it?