How to Make a Bump Map for 3D Modeling

What to Know Open a 2D texture map and then select Image >, Adjustments >, Desaturate, then invert the colors if desired. Go to Image >, Adjustments >, Brightness/Contrast, set the Contrast to 100, then import the map into a 3D animation program. Create the 3D map in Photoshop: Go to Filter >, 3D >, Generate Bump Map.

In 3D modeling, textures are crucial to creating a realistic experience. One of the most important textures is the bump map, which creates the illusion of depth and detail without increasing the polygon count. In this tutorial, we’ll go over how to create a bump map, as well as a diffuse map and normal map.

First, let’s start with the diffuse map. This is simply an image that contains color information and is what most people would call a texture. To create a good diffuse map, it should be high-resolution, preferably 4k or more, and seamless. If you’re applying the texture in any 3D software, you might run into an issue where seams appear when you repeat the texture. To fix this, use a seamless image. If you don’t have one, you can create it in Photoshop.

To create a seamless image in Photoshop, start by increasing the workspace area with the crop tool. Then, copy the image by alt and drag. When you repeat this image, you’ll see seams appearing. To fix this, line up the middle areas of the images, merge them together into one layer, and use the Healing Brush tool to fix the seams. Once you’re done, select the middle area and take a copy from it. Then, delete the old one and repeat the image. You should now have a seamless image.

Now, let’s move on to the normal map and bump map. Both of these maps affect the normals of our geometry and create the illusion of details without increasing the polygon count. The major difference is that a bump map simply encodes height information using a black and white value, while a normal map uses RGB values to signify the orientation of the surface normal. The information is written into the red, green, and blue channels, corresponding to the XY and Z orientation of the surface normal at any given pixel.

To create a normal map, make a copy of the diffuse map we created earlier. Then, go to Filter 3D and select “Generate Normal Map.” Make sure the contrast details and details are both 100 and the player is set to 0. Once you have this set, press “Generate Normal Map.”

For the bump map, make a copy of the diffuse map and go to Image > Adjustment > Hue/Saturation. Set the saturation to -100. If you zoom into the image, you’ll see all the wrinkles have white color. To create the bump map, use a black and white value where white will be a push-up and black will be a push-down. To do this, press Control I to invert the colors.

As you can see from the example, the bump map has more details than the normal map. However, you can use whichever map you prefer.

Creating these maps is essential to creating a realistic and detailed 3D model. By following these steps, you can create a seamless, high-resolution diffuse map, a normal map, and a bump map. Thanks for reading, and happy modeling!


How do you generate a bump height map?
Go to Filter >, 3D >, Generate Bump Map. This will bring up the Generate Bump Map dialog box, which gives you an interactive 3D preview with controls on how to generate the grayscale image that will make up your Bump map.
How do I convert a normal map to a bump map?
Typically Normal maps are converted into Bump or Height maps by simply opening the Normal map in an image editor and using some form of image desaturatation, either a filter or some other image process that swaps Normalised RGB colours for grey-scale values.
What is a bump map created out of?
Bump mapping is a texture mapping technique in computer graphics for simulating bumps and wrinkles on the surface of an object. This is achieved by perturbing the surface normals of the object and using the perturbed normal during lighting calculations.