Type: Plug-ins

Updated: November 15, 2009

Availability: End-of-lifed


Host Applications: After Effects CS3, After Effects CS4, After Effects CS5 and After Effects CS6

Operating Systems: Windows and Mac OS X

Architecture: 32-bit and 64-bit


Generator is a simple and free plug-in for Adobe After Effects which can be used to create normal maps from alpha mattes, such as text and shape layers.
It is based on some of the same algorithms as my more versatile Celulight plug-ins, but is comparatively simple and offers none of the advanced customizations its more feature-rich brother provides.

Generator is designed to run in cooperation with the free Normality re-lighting solution to create shading and lighting effects for text and arbitrary shapes without the need for pre-rendered 3D normal passes.


When using Normality to add lighting and shading effects to motion graphics, sometimes you’d wish there was a quick and easy way to create a normal map from text or shapes instead of relying on a complex 3D renderer… that’s where Generator comes in!
Just drop this plug-in on your text, shape or any other layer with a clean alpha channel and you will instantly see a normal map based on the layer’s shape. Generator is kept intentionally simple with very few options and hence little room for error – in fact, there is only a single parameter to adjust.

The automatically generated normal map can be used by Normality to add shading and lighting effects even without a pre-rendered 3D normal pass.

Note: Due to a bug in Normality, you must pre-compose your generated normal map before applying Normality.



Generator is compatible with After Effects CS3, After Effects CS4, After Effects CS5 and After Effects CS6 on Windows and Mac OS X (32-bit and 64-bit).