ModLab is a free tool that can generate and fine tune normal maps in a realtime rendering environment.
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Release Date:
Feb 15, 2018

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February 26

First Patreon poll

All Patrons (in this round this includes suporter tier) are able to vote in current poll which will run till Monday 12th March after which I will start working on implementation of winning option.

1) Image export for Background generator - In this iteration I would be aiming to create export into one layer 2D image. Resolution would be settable between 512x512 to 4096x4096. In future this would open path for further improvement of space background generator and very possibly export of spherical 360 3d map.

2) Ability to chose shader model - Schlick's approximation is currently used for rendering, on top of that it is slightly modified version. I would like to offer option to pick between several shader models. First additional model would be very basic phong model (which is much more primitive than currently used Schlick). Main motivation behind this would be creating framework itself for realtime shader model swap. In future this would lead to ability to preview textures in specific rendering environment being identical or close to Unity/Unreal Engine.

3) Optimization - realtime processing is done on GPU but it can be demanding, especially on older GPUs.. or on any GPU if used for processing large textures. There are several optimizations that can be done. Largest one would be to process texture only on value change and that would be first step. In future this will open way for some additional functionality that would use gained performance.

4) Increased quality of Medium and Large elements - I am not very happy with with medium and large elements quality when generating normal map from Height map or Diffuse map. Luckily I know exactly what is the cause and what to do with it. For cost of some performance (and of course some work) I can greatly improve quality of these elements.

Patreon link:
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February 23


First minor patch, generally quality of life changes.

  • Fixed window maximalization and snapping
  • Ctrl + Scroll for zoom to position
  • Smoother scroll
  • Removed camera autocentering
  • Inverted zoom
  • Removed some old license note*
  • Patchlog

*To be clear, you can use ModLab for both Commercial and Noncommercial projects.
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About This Software

Modlab is not an image editor. ModLab is a free tool that can generate normal maps in a realtime deferred rendering environment. It was initially created as an asset previewing and mastering tool for the game Wayward Terran Frontier which means it stands out among other content creation utility programs by featuring a full hardware rendering pipeline for previewing results in realtime.

Modlab can generate high quality normal maps without 3d geometry.

ModLab is completely free but you can support development at

The Modlab project has 3 core goals.

  • To provide entry level graphic designers an alternative way to create difficult assets such as normal maps and specular/roughness maps.
  • To provide professional graphic designers an ideal environment for fine tuning their art and exporting ready-to-ship assets.
  • To serve as a test bed for new experimental content generation techniques and algorithms. i.e. cool stuff we want to play around with.

Depending on reception and feedback Modlab may grow to become much much more. We would like to continue developing Modlab in coordination with the community. Our goal is to have the product remain free and supported by donations, and we will be hosting community polls to decide the direction of future development. Features such as procedural backdrop generation, support for other rendering and post-processing pipes such as Unity or Unreal, and 3d model previews of assets are all on the table.

Key features:

  • Generate a normal map from a diffuse map using advanced image processing and analytic techniques
  • Generate detailed normal maps from height maps
  • Combine normal maps with custom blending parameters
  • Create a horizontal profile for a normal map using the curve editor
  • Clean up and sharpen existing normal maps with Bilateral filtering
  • Generate roughness/specularity maps
  • Fine tune the intensity of emission maps
  • Realtime preview with settings for dominant, ambient, and point light sources

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows Vista or later
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-750
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 / AMD Radeon HD 7850
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Windows Vista or later
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-750
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
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