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I have a blender skinned mode with animation. Normals look like they are messed up. This is how it looks in Unity3D before and after animation.

enter image description here

As you can see, my model should be lit up just like the cube next to it. When I apply Armature modifier in blender, my model looses animation and its locked in particular position, but the light on that model works.

enter image description here

My question is: The normals are set as they would be for a static model, not for a animation. Why are normals not animated ?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Unity likely uses the equivalent of "Smooth Shading." Set your model to smooth in Blender and see if the problem persists. If so, set the corner edges to sharp and use the Edge Split modifier. \$\endgroup\$ – user41442 Jul 3 '14 at 16:04
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I would suspect there is a way to setup the normals within your animation tool so that you don't have to mess with them in Unity, but it turns out there's a simple setting when you import the model. Go to the Inspector and look in the Model tab, and set the Normals property to Calculate (it defaults to Import).

(There is also a code command to calculate normals, but that's exactly the same as doing it through the import settings.)

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Unity animations do not animate changes to mesh details. Animations are only pos-rot-scale of nodes. Unity's skinned mesh renderer uses animations of nodes to deform meshes. How Unity deforms your mesh can be slightly different than Blender's deformation. Unity is trying to do the right thing given the armature animation and the mesh weights for the nodes of the armature.

How are you animating the normals in Blender anyway? The armature in Blender isn't supposed to deform normals like the first screenshot you gave.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think blender deforms normals. It seems to me, that those normals on first picture has the same direction in both animation states (box open/closed). I'll take a look how are those normals animated in blender and report back. \$\endgroup\$ – jellyfication Jul 4 '14 at 12:01

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