Since last time i have made good progress on the normal mapping. The error i faced last time was the result of the low poly model not being uv unwrapped properly – when using a normal map you can’t have multiple texture files or it makes it a lot more difficult.
After using automatic layout to fix the uv problem, i tried the process again, but a few errors presented themselves. There were large yellow areas on the normal map itself, and i couldn’t figure out why.
It turned out that the problem was that the normal map had baked down parts that it should’t have, like the button panel and the lever.
To solve this i could have edited the map in Photoshop using the patch tool. An alternate method is to delete certain parts and redo the steps, so that’s what i did. I removed the table’s support, the lever, and the button panel. Then i redid the normal map and it worked correctly; the ridges on the sides look like they are actually there.
After that i reintroduced the parts i had removed, and gave them a simple blinn shader to match the normal map. You can see what i have so far in the featured image at the top.