- Normal maps are uncompressed (because texture compression really screws up the normal map). So per-pixel detail will be preserved. Use it!
- VRAM is allocated for an alpha channel whether you use one or not. This is because the cards need 32-bit pixels for performance. So include an alpha channel in your normal maps and use it to modulate shininess; this can help create the illusion of different materials.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Use Every Pixel of Your Normal Maps
Normal maps are expensive. A 2048 x 2048 normal map takes 22 MB of VRAM! So make sure you get every bit of image quality you can out of it. Two things to consider: