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NormalCombiner is simple tool used to combine two normal maps with correct vector summation. This cannot be done right in traditional 2D editors due to a representation of normal components when they are stored in color channels.

A normal can have negative components as well as positive ones. Therefore, its zero is offset by 128:

  • values from 0 to 127 are considered negative,
  • 128 represents zero,
  • values from 128 to 255 are considered positive.
NormalCombiner factors such value representation in and hence is able to sum normals accurately.

NormalCombiner module


Combining two normal maps is very simple:

  1. Load the first normal map by clicking Load base.
  2. Load the second normal map by clicking Load layer.
  3. Adjust Tile and Scale options for combining on the right pane of the ResourceEditor window.
  4. When you are satisfied with the result, click Save.

Display Modes

NormalCombiner can preview normal textures in two display modes. To switch between them, choose the mode in the drop-down list in the upper left corner of a window.

  • Normal to display the three-component normal map
  • Light to check how the normal maps would look under the lighting. Move the mouse cursor over the texture to change the position of a light source.

Light mode

Light mode

Combining Options

Load base Load a background normal map. This normal map is used as a tangent-space basis for a layer normal map.
Load layer Load a normal map to be laid over the base one. If they have different dimension, the layer map will be stretched. This normal map can be adjusted unlike the base normal map that stays unmodified.
Reload Reload a normal map.
Clear Clear a normal map.
Reload all Reload both a base and a layer normal map. The hot key is CTRL + R.
Info Display name and format of loaded textures in the upper left corner of the viewport.
Triangles Display a grid over a texture.
Tile Tiling factor for the layer normal map. The higher the value, the more times a layer map will be tiled.
  • The tile cannot be lower then 1.

Tile = 1 Tile = 5
Tile = 1
Tile = 5
Scale Visibility scale for the layer normal map. The higher the value, the more visible its colors are, because they are multiplied by the set value.

Scale = 0.5 Scale = 5
Scale = 0.5
Scale = 2
Save Save a combined normal map. The hot key is CTRL + S.
  • Two component — save a normal map in RG format. (The third component will be restored by the engine at rendering time). If unchecked, the normal map will be saved in RGB format.

Supported File Formats

Supported formats of textures:

  • Targa (TGA)
  • Portable Network Graphics (PNG)
  • JPEG (JPG)
  • Photoshop Document (PSD)
  • Direct Draw Surface (DDS)
PSD and DDS textures can be either of an 8-bit or 16-bit precision.

Hot Keys

  • CTRL + O — load a base normal map.
  • CTRL + L — load a layer normal map.
  • CTRL + S — save the combined normal map.
  • I — toggle texture info.
  • T — toggle a grid.
Last update: 2017-07-03
Build: ()