Author Topic: Creating Normal Maps  (Read 24231 times)

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Offline justindustrial

Creating Normal Maps
« on: February 17, 2011, 04:08:01 am »
I'm still a bit confused as to what the difference is between a bump map and a normal map. Is it not possible just to use an image, say a scan of a texture, as a bump map on a material? I could then also use that same image as the texture, no?

I've noticed that all the normal maps are sort of a blue-pink gradient, is there a way of creating these files myself, and what is the benefit to using proper coloured normal maps as opposed to just images loaded into the bump maps?

Thanks

guest84672

  • Guest
Re: Creating Normal Maps
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2011, 08:36:40 am »
Yes you can just use an image. KeyShot is very powerful in allowing to use an image as a bump map. With a normal map, you may have finer control. You can create it yourself, but it may require a standalone app or a plugin to PS.

Offline Speedster

Re: Creating Normal Maps
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2011, 11:40:32 am »
I use FilterForge to create normal maps.
Bill G

Offline Ralf-S

Re: Creating Normal Maps
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2011, 03:00:34 am »
Normal Map Generator (...currently in the programming/testing phase)
http://normalmapgenerator.yolasite.com/

SSbump Generator (with Cuda)
http://ssbump-generator.yolasite.com/

nDo (Create advanced normal maps straight in Photoshop CS2-CS5, Win and OSX)
http://cgted.com/
 
Blender / Normal Maps
http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:Manual/Textures/Maps/Bump_and_Normal_Maps

Crazybump
http://www.crazybump.com/

Genetica
http://www.spiralgraphics.biz/gen2tour/index.htm
Genetica tutorial video:
Importing images and making them seamless
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 04:02:48 am by Ralf-S »

Offline Richman

Re: Creating Normal Maps
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2011, 09:04:21 am »
Thanks ralf

I'm going to try out the photoshop nDo and crazy bump for mac.  Do you have a preference which is better?

Offline Richman

Re: Creating Normal Maps
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 02:30:02 pm »
Crazybump is great!

Offline PhilippeV8

Re: Creating Normal Maps
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2011, 03:18:36 pm »
http://www.zarria.net/nrmphoto/nrmphoto.html

From this link at least now I understand the difference between bump & normal.

So where bump only creates .. well .. bumps on your surface, with a normal map you can create 3D texture, even on flat surfaces and the light/camera movement will show different results ..

guest84672

  • Guest
Re: Creating Normal Maps
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2011, 07:46:51 am »
The difference is that a normal map may give you better/finer control over your bump map, rather than just using a jpeg. Most of the times a jpeg is enough, though.

Offline neilr

Re: Creating Normal Maps
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2011, 12:21:26 pm »
I just did a search and downloaded this program that is free open source SSBump Creator located here:

http://ssbump-generator.yolasite.com/

Below is a quick render I did using a normal map I mad, it only took a few minutes to create the map.

The left side is a render using only the regular bump map and the right side is using the normal map I made.






Offline Richman

Re: Creating Normal Maps
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2011, 12:13:19 am »
Grab Crazybump for Mac while it's still free.  I think it's the best one to work with.

Offline neilr

Re: Creating Normal Maps
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2011, 09:43:56 pm »
Free is always good :-)

Here are some metals I have been working on most have normal maps I did with SSBump. I would upload the library but this board doesn't seam to like that.




guest84672

  • Guest
Re: Creating Normal Maps
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2011, 07:00:52 am »
What do you mean - you can't upload?

Offline neilr

Re: Creating Normal Maps
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2011, 10:37:14 am »
It just keeps timing out when I try and upload the zipped up bip file...I will go through the docs and find out how to export just the materials this evening....

Offline neilr

Re: Creating Normal Maps
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2011, 05:23:23 pm »
OK I found it was easy to export the group I created for the metals. Please check them out and let me know if you improve on them.

guest84672

  • Guest
Re: Creating Normal Maps
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2011, 06:20:36 pm »
You will need add the textures separately.Export materials only exports the materials, but not the textures or bump maps that are applied.

Will be fixed in KeyShot 3.