Why are my normals so harsh (screenshot)?

Check this out. I mean, I KNOW why: they’re pixelated. But how can I prevent this?

Here’s my issue (screenshot) and here’s the normal map

2 things:

Do not use tga normal maps.

Learn to adjust UV maps.

Your UVs are realy realy badly.

PNG then, over TGA? And I don’t doubt they’re bad – but what exactly is bad about them? The scales or the layout? Thanks so much!

You can use TGA just fine, the only difference as far as UE4 is concerned for png vs. tga is that with tga you can define what the pixels that the alpha channel affects whereas with png and transparency it will generate pixels for that empty space which isn’t necessarily going to give you the result you want. That won’t affect how the normal map will work either way.

In your case, your normal map is really ugly, the intensity is too high, the UV map could be improved as well.

Also make sure your normal map is using normal map compression.

Thanks! So, basically, I should redo my normals on the base materials with a lower intensity, then organize my UV map better, then bake that and try again?

Like I said, the weirdest thing is before I baked it, the normals looked perfect. After baking, they were huge and distorted and whatnot. They only seemed to intensify after baking, so I wonder how much redoing the initial material normal will help?

I’m not sure how you generated your normal maps, but whatever method the intensity should be way lower than that. And ideally you wouldn’t have to use such a high resolution texture–like for the most part with game textures you’d like to keep things at 1024 or lower, sometimes you might see a 2K texture for something like an important character, but 4k is really high. You might also consider ways to use lower resolution textures. Like if you have a brick texture then you could use a much lower resolution texture and tile it which would give you a high amount of detail.