When converting an existing texture to a displacement map, sharp edges can be lost due to the nature of the
displacement conversion process. Take a look at the window example below. The diffuse image is converted
to displacement then the displacement converted to normals. There are obvious sharp edges at the window
frames in the diffuse yet the displacement map causes blurring along these lines. The blur continues
into the normal map which makes for warped window panes when they should be flat.
To overcome this problem, ShaderMap allows the user to load a gray-scale mask image. The mask tells the
displacement and normal map plugins what pixels to process and at what intensity. White mask pixels are processed
completely, black pixels are not processed at all, gray pixels are processed to a degree measured by the intensity
of the pixel. To add a mask to a specific map, such as displacement, click the “Load Mask” button located at the
top of the map properties panel. Once the mask is loaded it will be resized to fit over the map. Care should be
taken so that the mask is the same dimensions as the map it is applied to.
The result of adding a sharp edged mask to the above window example is shown below. You can see the resulting
normal map is now correct and has sharp edges and flat normals where the window panes are at. Use the same mask
image to further sharpen the normal map by loading it as a mask on the normal map node.
The SM3 Project File can be downloaded here: Mask ShaderMap Project
Note: This older project file will use legacy map plugins when loaded with SM4 and up.
The source image is located here: http://www.mb3d.co.uk/…Window_01_H_CM_1.jpg
Find more great free and seamless textures at: http://www.mb3d.co.uk/