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Sunday, November 13, 2005

NormalImageMapper - Shake Plug-in


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A normal lighting tool for Apple Computer's Shake compositing application, implemented as a C++ plug-in.
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- While researching normal lighting tools
the idea of mapping lighting from a sphere directly onto a normal image came up as alternative approach.As there is no such tool for Shake NormalImageMapper was developed.
NormalImageMapper has three input plugs:
- normal image, onto which lighting is mapped
- normal reference sphere, of same normal type as the normal image
- lookup sphere, lighting of which is mapped onto the normal image
Shake is an adaptively sized tile-based image processing system, and tiling became an issue as Shake would not allow C++ access to the whole image, but only to one tile at a time (applies to nodes with three input plugs). The work around was to downsize, slice and duplicate the normal reference sphere and lookup sphere images so one full copy is available in each tile.NormalImageMapper as a result relies on this external pre-processing.
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