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Rendering a Normal Pass for use with After Effects 'Normality'


right-pass2A quick and easy solution on how to render a Normal Pass out of Blender that will work with the ‘Normality'-plugin in After Effects. Blend file included.

William Patin writes:

If you ever try to render out a Normal Pass out of Blender, you'll be wondering why the normals look some kind of strange. The ‘problem' is that Blender renders a Normal Pass using the ‘World' as default Normal Space. Since ‘Normality' is using the Tangent Normal Space, this is how we're going to convert our Normal Pass to make it compatible.


About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Yeah, I've been fixing this in the nodes for a while. I really wish Blender would output standard normal maps, along with correctly oriented multilayer exr files. It would make the pipeline much easier.

    Guess I should start learning C.

    Anyways, Normality is a great plugin and this is a really nice fix for Blender. Good job.


  2. I just took a look at normality -- and I really liked it. Since it's basically free I will use it in my next project. Testing and changing the lights is so much easier now. Thanks for the info. Regards, Christian

  3. 2nd Kevins wish for fixed multilayer exr output from blender. Not only AE has problems but importing into Nuke results in having to add a mirror transformation to get blenders exrs the right way round.

    Also multilayer exr import into blender from Modo or VRay for example, the Image composite node ignores any layers it doesn't recorgnise, it would be cool if it just added a connection point with a default name if it can't read the layer names.

    It would be impressive to see blender able to play with other apps rather than expecting it to be the other way around all the time. :-)

    Great to see progress William.

    **EDIT** Woot just used the edit post option. :-)

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