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!