Custom Split Normals – Second Testbuild Available

EDIT: This tool is now in master, and will be part of Blender 2.74 release.

Here are three links on for testbuilds of current Custom Split Normals state of work:

Since first of August, most noticeable changes are:

  • A fair amount of bugs were busted (most noticeable being wrong handling of (interpolation) weights, and crash with the modifier when switching target mesh to Edit mode).
  • Data structures were tweaked (WARNING: this means files saved with builds from 08/01 are not ‘compatible’ with those new builds, they will load, but all custom normals will be lost).
  • Some optimization work was done (especially in code computing final split normals, which is now multi-threaded).
  • Modifier UI was reworked, and a new ‘from split normals’ mode was added, which uses split normals of target, instead of its face normals.

As usual, please note that this remains “experimental” code, do not expect on stability of new features yet, nor of the file format (though this one should not change anymore, imho).

Also, if you are doing some nice tests with these builds, I would appreciate some nice screenshots (and even better, .blend files), those would be more than useful for final documentation! 🙂

Please report any bug you may (will!) find to our bug tracker,

9 thoughts on “Custom Split Normals – Second Testbuild Available

  1. For as much as I’ve tested everything works fine. Import to and from 3ds Max works fine.

    The modifier works well too, though It took some time before I figured out that to use it with newly created objects you have to add custom normals layer.

    Here are some screenshots of a tree with and without exploded normals.

  2. Hi Bastien.
    I tested win64 build from graphicall and have some feedback for you. My test files:

    1. This build always crash on exit.
    2. New modifier works very well in Ellipsoid mode.
    3. Face normals and Split normals options works ok but there is something strange with interpolation, or to be exact- lack of it. Meshes look nice when target object have thousands polygons but when they have only few polys (set to Smooth of course) projected normals look like they are averaged to couple of values. Just like cut-out filter. See this image from Monkeys file:

    Leftmost guys look ok but target object have subdiv set at 6 level. Anyways when you zoom into those meshes cut-out effect is visible. Middle one meshes have very visible effect. Almost like projection was done from target without smooth shading. Rightmost monkeys are correct because theirs targets have solid shading.

    4. This monkey on top?

    5. That was most disappointing. Custom split normals cannot be baked properly in cycles. 😦 Every attempt was a failure resulting complete mess. I need to bake that for anisotropic/ flowmap for hair and fur shader. THongs like that can be utilized in Anisofropic shader in cycles and probably in game engine for variosu effects. I hope you can do something with that.

    • Hi moniewski, and thanks a lot for this detailed feedback! 😀

      1) Is not related to split normals, but a general issue with recent win builds, see

      3) These are actually expected results – no interpolation is done here, it just selects the normal from the best-matching face or face-corner, that’s all. So those modes are indeed rather intended to transfer normals from an higher or similar level of details. Note this will likely heavily change anyway, since I should be able to reuse my current work on ‘transfer data’ on (custom) split normals too – and we do have interpolation here! 🙂

      5) Not sure about this one… Yet, I’d say this is also a generic issue, see

  3. Hi Bastien. I saw many good stuff on phabricator, your mesh data transfer tools. Will you make some tesbuilds and put them on graphicall? I really want to test it out and give you some feedback. 🙂

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