Ok, now that I got your attention… is it just me or does the "normal mapped terrain" option actually screw up textures. Several people told me that it's supposed to look better, but in my opinion it just looks incredibly ugly. I played around with every single texture and I like most of them better with "normal mapped terrain" turned off. Since there is the possibility that my GFX card just screws up I made screenshots, so that you can have a look yourself… I used the dirt_05 texture.
Originally Posted by bkrueger
The second picture is much more "exact". In fact the dirt looks like consisting of many small mountains, while the dirt in the first picture looks basically two-dimensional.
So I would say: The second picture is "better" in a technical way, but it may look uglier in the esthetical sense.
Sometimes a little bit of blurryness (can you say that?) makes things look nicer.
I think it is pretty established that too clear or too sharp graphics look unnatural, and at least some of the postprocessing options are actually methods for blurring the picture
I agree that the first picture looks better except in terms of sense of depth. Maybe someone more into graphics can explain what normal mapping does (just going by what a "normal" is it does sound like something related to depth).
It applies some kind of lightning effect, which I guess does indeed add depth. The screenshots don't really do justice to the ugliness of the second version. My main concern is really that it totally changes the look of the texture… at first I really thought that it's some graphical error. I mean, the "normal mapped terrain" version looks more like mud, but certainly not like dirt. It also tends to look way more repetitive since small details are simply "lost".