Submitted by , posted on 02 October 2002

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Inspired by all the recent poly reduction bump screenshots (hint: Doom3) I tried to achieve a similar look with existing geometry and this is the result. The image shows Klesk and Tank Jr. from Quake3 on the left without normal map and on the right with normal mapping applied. For calculating the normal map I convert the diffuse texture to greyscale when I load the model and use that as a heightmap for normal map generation. This works since artists tend to paint lighting information into the textures. Since they can't assume a particular light direction/position or the model would look wrong when placed into a scene, the luminance information (from the greyscale bitmap) is suitable for normal map generation. To apply the normal maps you have to duplicate some vertices (those where the texture is mirrored). The demo is part of my testbed that you can download at All you have to do is to set the q3a variable in the test.set file correctly to your Quake3 root directory. It should run on all cards with 2 texture units and DOT3 support although I've only tested it on my GeForce2MX.

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