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Unity Shaders and Effects Cookbook by Kenny Lammers

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Normal mapping

One of the most common texture techniques used in today's game development pipelines is the use of normal maps. These give us the ability to fake the effect of high-resolution geometry on a low-resolution model. This is because instead of performing lighting calculations on a per-vertex level, we are using each pixel in the normal map as a normal on the model, giving us much more resolution on how the lighting should be, while still maintaining the low polygon count of our object.

In 3D computer graphics, normal mapping, or "Dot3 bump mapping", is a technique used for faking the lighting of bumps and dents – an implementation of Bump mapping. It is used to add details without using more polygons. A common use of this technique is ...

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