Surface Normal Node

The Surface Normal node is part of the Surface Shading set of nodes. It converts the output of a Surface Map node into a directional normal map, which is the same kind of output that is given by the Normal Map node in the legacy Light Shading system, and which is used by the Light Shader and Tone Shader nodes to create light shading effects.

Using the Surface Map and Surface Normal node instead of the Normal Map node allows you to use the more detailed height maps and height mattes from the Volume Objects with the Light and Tone shaders, as well as to animate the surface definition on a rig.

NOTE For more information on how to use the Surface Shading set of nodes, see About Surface Shading.

Layer Properties

Parameter Description
Name The name of the node as it appears in the Node View and the Timeline view. Each node must have a name that is unique to its containing group.
Surface Normal Quality

The surface normal quality provides three levels of quality when calculating and rendering the normal:

  • Low: Renders very fast and provides the first immediate normal direction.
  • Medium: Renders all four available surfaces orientations at a given pixel and averages the result.
  • High: Medium render speed. Calculates all available normals on a surface and blends the nearest normals at the given pixel.