What is Normal Map?

Normal Map is one of the important tools in 3D visualization. It allows the illusion of bumpiness, curvature or other surface details where there are none. Normal Map can be used to make an object look more realistic.

Normal Map is created by first scanning the high-resolution model’s mesh. The software then calculates where the vertices would be if the mesh were smoothed out. These new vertex positions are called “tangent space”, and they form a tangent plane at each point on the mesh. This data is then used to generate a bitmap image, which is wrapped around the low-resolution model like a texture map. When viewed from a distance, this low-resolution model will appear to have the same surface detail as the high-resolution model.