User Guide > Effects > OpenFX > Using the Normal Map Converter

Using the Normal Map Converter

Harmony has the ability to generate normal maps. The main usage is to create light shading effects on flat 2D drawings—see About Light Shading in Harmony. The normal map will carve and emboss a flat plane using vectors. The X, Y and Z coordinates of the normal map vectors are stored in RGB values to convert the 3D aspect into a visual result and use it to create various effects, such as light reflections (light shading). The X value is stored in the Red channel. The Y value is stored in the Green channel. The Z value is stored in the Blue channel.

A normal map can be used to create other effects. If you're are working with an OpenFX plugin or other plugin requiring a normal map, you can use the Normal Map Converter node to translate the Harmony normal map to a format supported by your plugin. The Normal Map Converter node has been optimized to work with GenArts® plugins, but you also have the ability to use it on custom plugins.

NOTE: Note that not all normal map formats are supported.

The Normal Map Converter uses the following formula per channel:

  • value * (+/- length) + offset
  • * +/- depending if inverse is set to true ("-" if true)