Parallax Map With Blender

this tutorial in under Gnu Free Documentation License (GFDL)

first grab this blender script and install it


first at all you will need to unwrap your 3D object , unwraping is the operation that consist in flattening your 3D object in a 2D plan

in our exemple we will use a sphere , so add a UVsphere mesh to your empty scene

then select the edges as you want to cut it in 2 like in the pic


type CTRL+e and click on make steam

split you screen to open a UV/image editor windows

in the 3D view select you mesh and go to edit mode.
Type u and then click on unwrap you should see something like that in your UV image editor windows

you must save this uv map on the UV editor open the UVs menu -> scripts->save uv face layouts put the size at 1024 click ok and then enter the name of your UVmap file (blender will add stuff to the name of the image (the mesh or the file name) , it will be saved as .tga or select SVG to have the transparency

you have done with the UVmap .

for generating the normal and the height maps, you will need 2 meshes , 1 high poly wich will have the final result you want so whatever you have the high or the low poly , you must copy it

Select you mesh , type SHIFT+d (duplicate) and click to duplicate it somewhere (don't bother where you place it for now , you can even move it in other layer).

now you mesh is copied you must transform it in low/high poly depending of your start mesh
to lower a high poly mesh you can use the tools "retopo" (just look around the internet , there are good videos about retopo), for our case our start mesh is low poly so we need to higher it

simply select one of the meshes and go on object mode and click on add multires, add level until 4 and then apply the multires, now work your high poly mesh and make it look like the wanted result , im our case we want something how look like that :

we want the left sphere (low poly) to look like the right one (high poly)

select the low poly mesh , *go in the uv image editor in the image menu click on new* (to add an image to the UVmap create previously), when this is done you should have a black backgroup to with the UVmap

At this step be sure that both meshes are set smooth.

first set you blender as show below if you aren't familiar with blender that will ease the process of understanding what the script does.

Select you high poly mesh and then you low poly one

on the 3D view go on the object menu -> script -> parallax map

when the save menu pops up , your normal and relief maps are generated , enter a name , the script will had normalmap and heightmap to the name of the file you enter

you can load the maps in the UV/image editor to verify the results

Open the Node editor

Delete all stuff on it , just select the tabs and type x to delete it.

Add 2 images input , hit Space bar to open the menu to add stuff in the Node editor

Add RGBA separator , hit Space bar Add->Convertor->separate RGBA

Add an Output viewver and link all the tabs as seen below , the normal map in the image input of the viewver , pass the heightmap image to the separator , link the R output of the separator to the Alpha channel of the viewver

to see the result in the UV/image editor you must select the "draw with the alpha channel* icon


how to save and use our result

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