Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 Posted by Jim Thacker

Knald Technologies releases Knald

Originally posted on 8 April 2013. Scroll down for updates.

Knald Technologies has released an open beta of Knald, an interesting new map-generation tool it describes as “the world’s first GPU-powered solution for generating ‘bake quality’ textures from any 2D source image”.

The software generates the usual range of maps, including normal, AO, concavity, convexity and displacement, from photographic images – and being based around OpenCL, it works with any graphics card.

According to the developer: “Knald can generate [such] maps in around five seconds on a mid-level Nvidia [GeForce GTX] 560 Ti. When loading a height map directly, all other maps are generated instantly.”

Engineered for high-precision workflow
Knald looks pretty robust: the software includes a 3D preview showing your maps applied to a model with “real-time, scalable tesselation”, and supports 8, 16 or 32-bit workflow.

According to the website: “All calculations within Knald are performed in double/single precision floating point (float64/float32).”

“We have painstakingly ensured that with our robust I/O pipeline, with full 8, 16 and 32-bit (integer and float) support, you will never suffer from precision drop due to lazy coding and can focus on creating great art!”

Try it now for free
All in all, it’s an interesting alternative to tools like CrazyBump or Bitmap2Material – and, thanks to the open beta demo, one you can try for free.

Knald runs on Windows 7 and Windows 8, and you’ll need at least a 2GHz dual-core and 2GB of RAM to run it: ideally, a 3GHz quad-core GPU and 8GB of RAM. It runs on any OpenCL 1.0/OpenGL 3.2-compatible GPU.

Updated 10 December: Knald 1.0 is shipping. A licence costs $100 if you’re a freelancer or hobbyist; for studios, pricing starts at $200 per seat. You can read the official announcement or download the demo version.

Read more about Knald’s feature set

Download Knald