Need Bent normals sample files and more info please.


I would like to know if there are example files with a bent normal setup, I’m still a bit confused as how this plugs in and works with both reflection occlusion AO etc… The doc doesn’t show much, a sample scene would be nice.

Also any idea of how to bake out bent normals from substance, is there a checkbox or a special export option somewhere because i can’t find it.


Thank you, however I think the document is still not clear to me yet, for instance:

1 - How do you plug bent normals? in the doc i only see a node plugged to nowhere.

2 - do i still need my normal maps along with bent normals?

3 - how do you plug it in order to occlude reflections as well as all the rest, does this automatically happen when you plug it into AO? how do you plug it into AO? etc…

I think just making a simple file similar to the robot asset they used would be easier to figure out. or at least a full screenshot of the entire material graph and some notes.

Lastly they mention in the doc that you could do this in substance painter, but like you i couldn’t find the settings, perhaps a hint or some explanation there by Epic or someone can help us both.

Thanks again.

1 - I imagine you only need to plug it into the Bent Normal node, like the Landscape Grass node, which doesn’t plug directly into the final material output like all the other material stuff.

2 - You will still need to plug your Tangent Space Normal into the normal slot, same as usual.

3 - I’m gonna look through the Robo Recall content now to see if it’s in there.

I can’t actually see Painter mentioned in that documentation, are you referring to some other docs?

I can’t see any bent normal content in the same material (or at all) I wonder if the Robo Recall mod content wasn’t updated when 4.17 was released.

All you have to do is add the Bent Normal output node to the Material Graph and then plug your Bent Normal map into it. You can find it by searching for it in the pallet. You should also make sure that you have something input into your Ambient Occlusion (AO) and Normal map input on your Material. The following image shows exactly how this should be set up

Yes, you still need Normal maps and AO maps when using Bent Normals.

This should happen when you plug your AO map into the Ambient Occlusion input like in the following image.

Make sure you are using Substance Designer 6 and should be able to bake this just like any other map. You can also read more about how to do this on the following page.

Ihank you guys will give it a try soon.

i follow the guidelines but i didn’t see any differences with and without bent normal map… i miss something :rolleyes:

XNormal is easier than Substance programs to use for this :slight_smile:

the problem is not how to make bent normal map, but how to keep it work with in UE4 because at the moment i didn’t see any difference

Depends how you look at the model, The change i suspect is very minor but in some cases this minor difference can make a big difference in the look.

AO shadows are subtle indeed…
But they make the models have a more natural volumetric feel.

Without Bent Normal Map:

With Bent Normals:

Can we convert normal maps to bent normals? If so any software that can do this?

No, a normal map contains the direction of a surface per pixel. A bent normal contains an averaged occlusion direction. There’s no way to generate occlusion direction without baking it directly from a highpoly model

I know that the effect is very subtle, i’ve connected also a lerp to check the difference between with and without bent norma (bent normal texture connected to lerp and blended with a 0,0,1 vector, with a constant exposed to change between the two value) but there is no difference.
Epic can you provide us a working example ?

I read for many characters, you’ll only notice the difference in the ears.

These robots seem to benefit the most from bent normals since there’s a lot of internal detail, and areas that show off clean specular highlights that need occluded. Just thinking about it, a good test prop might be a 6 pack of sodas (or anything cylindrical).

ok thx nice suggestion, i will try :slight_smile: