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By Patria Dobbins

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In 3D computer graphics, normal mapping, or "Dot3 bump mapping", is a technique used for faking the lighting of bumps and dents. It is used to add details without using more polygons. A normal map is usually an RGB image that corresponds to the X, Y, and Z coordinates of a surface normal from a more detailed version of the object. A common use of this technique is to greatly enhance the appearance and details of a low polygon model by generating a normal map from a high polygon model. History The idea of taking geometric details from a high polygon model was introduced in "Fitting Smooth Surfaces to Dense Polygon Meshes" by Krishnamurthy and Levoy, Proc.

For each face point, add an edge for every edge of the face, connecting the face point to each edge point for the face. For each original point P, take the average F of all n face points for faces touching P, and take the average R of all n edge midpoints for edges touching P, where each edge midpoint is the average of its two endpoint vertices. Move each original point to the point (This is the barycenter of P, R and F with respective weights (n-3), 2 and 1. ) The new mesh will consist only of quadrilaterals, which won't in general be planar.

For each original point P, take the average F of all n face points for faces touching P, and take the average R of all n edge midpoints for edges touching P, where each edge midpoint is the average of its two endpoint vertices. Move each original point to the point (This is the barycenter of P, R and F with respective weights (n-3), 2 and 1. ) The new mesh will consist only of quadrilaterals, which won't in general be planar. The new mesh will generally look smoother than the old mesh. Repeated subdivision results in smoother meshes.

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