Help with understanding normal maps

Hello everyone,

I am trying to understand how normal maps work. I understand what they do but no matter how much i read about them I can not for the life of me find the answer I am looking for.

I am wondering this.

If I am working with terrain and use a rock texture I have a normal map for that rock texture but I dont like how it makes the rock look. Can I find and use another normal map or does it have to be the one for that texture. I have tried to test to see for my self but I seen no difference and thought it might just be my normal map.

You can use any normal map when making a material. Sometimes you might get some strange results… but yes, you can generate new normal maps and use them to alter the look of something.

As an example, see these images. One of them shows 3 different normal maps, and the 3 different results you get when applying them to the otherwise same ‘material’…