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Mad Poster
Original Poster
#1 Old 26th Feb 2017 at 3:31 AM
Default 100% cotton, not 100% plaster! (Normal map)
I am not even sure if my thread goes in here, so feel free to move it.
I am quite annoyed by normal map, bump map when it comes to clothing. I understand their use and purposes, but either I am missing something, either they just don't work as I imagine.
It makes anything look like plaster, not actual fabric. Pretty cool if your sim broke his arm, otherwise..why the heck.

My pajamas, in my head are 100% cotton..not 100% plaster (dammit)
I thought, maybe my image is too pixelated, and maybe the normal map is really *sensitive* to this, so I smooth/soften it a lot. After all, it should just imitate folds in the fabric..by making the lighter parts seems elevated, while the dark parts would create the opposite effect, not giving my mesh a texture..or does it.

Result, my pajamas still look like it's made out of plaster, hence seems very uncomfortable.
Any advice for me..or this is just the dumb way they work?
I attached pictures of what I am talking about, in case you wonder, and a pic of my normal map, once soften.

Thank you.
Screenshots

Je mange des girafes et je parle aussi français !...surtout :0)

Find all my old MTS Uploads, on my SFS ;)
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Lab Assistant
#2 Old 26th Feb 2017 at 5:32 PM
Bump maps are useful to give dimension to small things like buttons or pockets.
But in your case I think you'll get a better result without any bump map.
Anyway... how did you make that map ?
Did you use the desaturation method ? Many people do that, but it's a common mistake... It's not the proper way to make a bump map. It may give very weird results sometimes.
Did you use bodyshop or SimPE to import your map ? You may have crappy results with bodyshop, SimPE is better.

Here are tutorials that may be helpful :
http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=268418
https://www.katsbits.com/tutorials/...s-or-images.php
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#3 Old 26th Feb 2017 at 5:59 PM Last edited by Rosebine : 26th Feb 2017 at 8:03 PM.
EDIT : Well turns out, I went back to check on the top alone and bottom alon I used to create my Whole Body outfit (pajamas) and guess what?..none of them had Normal Map..here you go. No details on them = no need for bump. This is helpful to know, but I am still quite disappointed about how they work!
I'd still want to create the perfect one, even though EA thought it was not needed. When it is that EA was 100% right anyway! ahahah

Ok, thank you. yeah..i thought of no bump map at all, but I thought I would add a more bold effect for the fabric folds..
I always use SimPE to import images, yes.
HP tutorial..yeah. I had seen this long ago. Though in the ONE image that shows what is a good bump map?...nothing mush is said. There is more what not to do instructions than what to do ones. So I never pay much attention to this. All it says is this is a low-contrast greyscale...not much difference between this, and a desturated image that actually produce a low-contrast greyscale. But still, I'll read it a few times and see if I missed some important details that I didn't already know. lol
My normal map is a plain tshirt paired with a plain uni color pants. I did not simply use the flower pj pants and turn it into a normal map. the flowers are printed on the fabric, not embroided in
One difference i can see between HP good bump map and mine, is that mine is much darker where clothe is. While in her tut, the shirt is almost all white compare to the 128,128,128 grey.

Thank you for your reply Cedrigo.

Je mange des girafes et je parle aussi français !...surtout :0)

Find all my old MTS Uploads, on my SFS ;)
Site Helper
#4 Old 26th Feb 2017 at 8:30 PM
Maxis stopped using bumpmaps after the Base Game, I think. If you have a look at some of the newer meshes, the details are either included in the meshes themselves (like the line where the front parts of a shirt overlap) or in the texture (things like buttons, seams, etc.). Base Game meshes, on the other hand, are pretty smooth and flat, with very few details; it's understandable that they'd use bumpmaps for some of those.

I rarely bother with bumpmaps; if an outfit has one, I'll usually remove it altogether in SimPE (unless I haven't changed the mesh and overall texture). The texture image itself is what's going to give you the look you're after.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#5 Old 26th Feb 2017 at 9:25 PM
Oh I see. Thank you.
I was doing this when creating clothe before, because I thought my computer could not handle Normal map anyway. So i was just deleting them out. I finally realised, and just recently, that my problem was that I would let the texture be at DTX5 instead of rawbit8...doh.
Now that I am on a superpowerfulwarmachine, I thought..I'll re enable them right?...So this is why.
The top I used to make this pajamas is the teen female long t shirt pajamas. One with blue sleeves and a number on the front. I adapted it to FA, of course. Then for the bottom/pants part, I choose a FA gym outfit, the one with a zipper at the bottom of pants, and a cropped top. I remove the running shoes of course, kept just the pants part.
None of them had bump...but the final outfit I cloned to create this had one. So this is why i thought I needed one.
Now I will work on my pajamas shirt part texture, see if I can make the folds more visible.
But for now, just replacing the normal map with flat grey (RGB 128.128.128) made my pajamas look SO much better.
yes, I am aware that having this flat grey or no file at all is the same thing.
But as i said, I am not giving up, so I'd rather leave a normal map IN, than deleting it all together. I might be able to improve it.

Je mange des girafes et je parle aussi français !...surtout :0)

Find all my old MTS Uploads, on my SFS ;)
Lab Assistant
#6 Old 27th Feb 2017 at 1:41 PM
I know HP tutorial is quite basic, that's why I added a second link that explains things more deeply
Pixelhate's TXMT tutorial is also very interesting, part 5 is about bump maps
http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=316260

Anyway a proper bump map should be generated by computer, it may be hard to make one without appropriate tools (unless you just want to bump small things like buttons etc).
You need to create a high poly version of your mesh, and add the details and bumps that you want on this new mesh.
Then with a software like Blender, you can open your low poly mesh and high poly mesh, and generate a normal map.
The software will compare the two meshes and add the details from the high poly one into the normal map to create the illusion that the low poly mesh is a high poly mesh.

The sims 2 bump maps are very basic because it's only shades of grey. The sims 3 uses RGB normal map (that are mostly blue) to create details like muscles etc. You may also use those bluish maps in TS2, the result is better. But you should build it in DTX1 format, and a big size is better if you have small details (at least 1024x1024 map).

Good luck
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#7 Old 27th Feb 2017 at 1:52 PM
Yes! I just redownloaded Pixelhate,s zips the other day. I have blender, but might never find out how it works...lol
All my normal maps are 1024 x 1024, though I do not know how to create the blueish maps..I'll read some more.
Thank you again!

Je mange des girafes et je parle aussi français !...surtout :0)

Find all my old MTS Uploads, on my SFS ;)
Lab Assistant
#8 Old 27th Feb 2017 at 2:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosebine
Yes! I just redownloaded Pixelhate,s zips the other day. I have blender, but might never find out how it works...lol
All my normal maps are 1024 x 1024, though I do not know how to create the blueish maps..I'll read some more.
Thank you again!

Here is a good youtube tutorial that explains how to create normal maps with Blender
https://youtu.be/bck1eU4e8xo
It's not very hard to do, even if you're not used to Blender...
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#9 Old 28th Feb 2017 at 3:49 AM
Thank you very much again. I might try the blender tut he has there, I already watched it all. I am scared that I might have problems following it, but who knows. This is how noob I am.
Though I saw he had another tutorial about how to create normal map using Gimp, found here .
This went pretty well, only problem is, I must set it to DTX1 you said huh?...Well, any other settings than raw8bit for me results in werid lighting issue on all that mesh part.
The issue I was having before on my old computer and took it as..i cannot display bump on this machine.
Turns out, just setting all my normal map to raw8bit..or is it rawbit8?..fixed it.
So now I have a pretty blueish map..but no way to show it.

Je mange des girafes et je parle aussi français !...surtout :0)

Find all my old MTS Uploads, on my SFS ;)
Lab Assistant
#10 Old 28th Feb 2017 at 6:37 AM
Bump maps (gray) use raw8bit.

Normal maps (neutral blue) use raw24bit.
Lab Assistant
#11 Old 28th Feb 2017 at 11:17 AM Last edited by cedrigo : 28th Feb 2017 at 11:43 AM.
Yes your blue map won't work if you set it to raw8bit. You must use anorther format... you can choose whatever is working better for you from raw24bit to DXT5.
I use DXT1 because I prefer using the "build DXT" option (when you right click on the picture in SimPE) with a bitmap image.
You can also use "import DDS" if you made a .dds file.

But if raw8bit is the only format that works well for you, you should stick to the black and white bump map (height map).
I'm not sure if you can make the b&w height map directly with blender, I never tried.
But I know you can convert a blue normal map into a b&w height map with this little free software :
http://charles.hollemeersch.net/njob/
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#12 Old 28th Feb 2017 at 2:02 PM Last edited by Rosebine : 28th Feb 2017 at 3:18 PM.
Oh yes, always build DTX. This is an old habit Thank you both! I'll try the raw24bit and that link..
Oh well..The only setting that does not create a weird lighting issue is raw8bit, for normal map. I always use DTX5 or DTX3 for the main clothing texture, but if there is a normal map, raw8bit it must be. I tried the raw24bit as suggested for the blue map...same result as using DTX5 or DTX1 etc, I get the weird lighting. See pic attached.
All shows well, bump included, if I use raw8bit, but then....it looks like plaster.
Screenshots

Je mange des girafes et je parle aussi français !...surtout :0)

Find all my old MTS Uploads, on my SFS ;)
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