NormalTag Manual


A NormalTag stores normal vectors for a (polygon) object. For each polygon a set of four vectors is stored (NormalStruct). The class NormalTag is based on VariableTag so the typical workflows on handling tags apply, see BaseTag and VariableTag Manual.

NormalTag objects are an instance of Tnormal.


NormalTag instances are created with the usual tools.

// This example checks if the given object hosts a Normal tag.
// If not, a Normal tag is created.
NormalTag* normalTag = static_cast<NormalTag*>(polyObject->GetTag(Tnormal));
if (normalTag == nullptr)
const Int32 polyCnt = polyObject->GetPolygonCount();
normalTag = NormalTag::Alloc(polyCnt);
if (normalTag == nullptr)
return maxon::OutOfMemoryError(MAXON_SOURCE_LOCATION);


The normal vectors stored in a NormalTag are accessed by obtaining data handles that are used with static functions:

// This example calculates normal vectors, changes them and stores them in the given Normal tag.
// make sure a Phong tag exists
if (polyObject->GetTag(Tphong) == nullptr)
BaseTag* phongTag = polyObject->MakeTag(Tphong);
if (phongTag == nullptr)
return maxon::OutOfMemoryError(MAXON_SOURCE_LOCATION);
Random random;
NormalHandle handle = normalTag->GetDataAddressW();
for (Int32 i = 0; i < polygonCount; ++i)
const CPolygon polygon = polygons[i];
// calculate default face normal
Vector normal = CalcFaceNormal(points, polygon);
NormalStruct normals;
// add random variation
normal.x += ((random.Get01() * 0.2) - 0.1);
normal.y += ((random.Get01() * 0.2) - 0.1);
normal.z += ((random.Get01() * 0.2) - 0.1);
// define polygon normals
normals.a = normal;
normals.b = normal;
normals.c = normal;
normals.d = normal;
NormalTag::Set(handle, i, normals);

Further Reading