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Cloner Object, texture, and Normal Maps

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Sick, sitting in bed, with nothing to do, so i've been watching tutorials all day and I recently watched this tutorial:

 

Basically creating a wall of tiles with the cloner object, using a plain effector to rotate them 90˚ to reveal another image on the other side. I get all of this, no problem there.

 

What I'm more interested in, is how you could optimize this and make it more flexible. He's sticking a texture to the cloned objects, but is there a way to export a normals map out and then change the texture after the fact somewhere else like AE? If so, whats the process for that? I'm under the impression its not as simple as like applying a compositing tag and it gives you the alpha channel. By the way, Nick's tutorial with the Discovery Channel Ident with the rotating cubes is not exactly what I have in mind. His is an illusion, but I'm thinking of trying to get the textures to really stick to the cloned objects and rotate with them.

 

Any ideas on this?

(Thanks)

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