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Farhad_azer
09-26-2014, 03:22 PM
Hi there guys.

I have surfed in youtube a little and would like to know more about the difference between normal map and bump map.

by the time I still use the classic texturing intead of Node editor.

thanks in advance.

Farhad_azer
09-26-2014, 03:33 PM
By the way I just watched Chris's new video and am proud to be a new lightwaver.

XswampyX
09-26-2014, 03:49 PM
It's 'by the way' not 'by the time' :)

And by the way, Welcome!

Bump maps are flat in and outs, normal maps are angles.
Normal maps give better results.

Farhad_azer
09-26-2014, 04:06 PM
Ok thanks, I corrected my mistake.

what does it mean "normal maps are angles"? they are rounded u mean?

Sensei
09-26-2014, 04:20 PM
Normal maps are vectors.
In red color there is X component, in green there is Y component, in blue Z component.
Or mixed other way. Or flipped (negated).
Typically they're normalized.
SQRT(X^2+Y^2+Z^2)=1

Bump maps are altitudes.

speismonqui
09-26-2014, 06:13 PM
it's a topic related to 3D in general, not exclusively Lightwave.

If youtube/etc doesn't have enough Bump Vs. Normal videos about (or in) lightwave, you can look at their uses and differences in other software videos. How and when to use them in lightwave is another story, but the basics are the same.

Good luck.

Farhad_azer
09-27-2014, 01:58 PM
thanks for your helps fellas

I still am confused a little. a little more detailed description would really be appreciated.

If Normal map is better than bump then does it means I should do rest of my 3d works using normal map and forget bump map?

or in some cases bump is preferred over normal map?

spherical
09-27-2014, 02:06 PM
There's no hard fast rule. One does not supersede the other. It depends upon the level of perceived detail required. Sometimes bump is better and/or normal maps aren't necessary. Sometimes there are situations where you use both.

This does a good job of explaining it: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.4/Manual/Textures/Influence/Material/Bump_and_Normal

Sensei
09-27-2014, 02:21 PM
Normal maps are hard to create. You need to bake normals, or use special application like ZBrush to generate it.
Bump maps can be painted in any 2d application like Photoshop.
If you're beginner in 3d, for now you should stick with bump maps. It will deliver everything what you might need.

Bump mapping is converted internally by renderer to normal vectors during rendering slowing a bit rendering. But it's not much to bother your head about it (ray-tracing can be hundred or thousands more). Unlike real-time games which strictly needs normal maps.

prometheus
09-27-2014, 06:51 PM
Normal maps are hard to create. You need to bake normals, or use special application like ZBrush to generate it.
Bump maps can be painted in any 2d application like Photoshop.
If you're beginner in 3d, for now you should stick with bump maps. It will deliver everything what you might need.

Bump mapping is converted internally by renderer to normal vectors during rendering slowing a bit rendering. But it's not much to bother your head about it (ray-tracing can be hundred or thousands more). Unlike real-time games which strictly needs normal maps.

not that hard to do for some stuff though in photoshop, you can create some stuff by using the nvidia normal map filters and get better looking stuff than bumps.

Surrealist.
09-28-2014, 07:04 AM
Normal maps are technically entirely different than bump maps.

This is a great write up here:

http://oldwiki.polycount.com/NormalMap

probiner
09-28-2014, 09:12 AM
Normal maps are technically entirely different than bump maps.

This is a great write up here:

http://oldwiki.polycount.com/NormalMap

What sensei meant is that a bump map is converted into meaningful render data, normal map, which in LW is some sort of comparison between neighbor pixels to general a direction. Unfortunately as seen in the image below it's a fixed comparison radius...
111942

If we are talking about painting them, height maps are the way to go. Then converted to normals if you want.

vonpietro
09-28-2014, 09:46 AM
quick question.
How does one make a normal map? like say i create rivets from a photo, how would i get that nice purple image?

probiner
09-28-2014, 10:03 AM
Map generation software. Shader Map, CrazyBump, nDo, xNormal etc.
Photoshop Plugins: nVideo, xNormal, nDo
LW Nodes: http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?134196-2D-Tangent-Normal-Map-Baking-Scene , http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?134158-Free-Video-Baking-Normal-Maps-in-LightWave-with-DP_Kit

Question is why you want to generate normal maps and not just use the bump?

prometheus
09-28-2014, 11:52 AM
Map generation software. Shader Map, CrazyBump, nDo, xNormal etc.
Photoshop Plugins: nVideo, xNormal, nDo
LW Nodes: http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?134196-2D-Tangent-Normal-Map-Baking-Scene , http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?134158-Free-Video-Baking-Normal-Maps-in-LightWave-with-DP_Kit

Question is why you want to generate normal maps and not just use the bump?

Not really sure...but from what i have seen based on simple text logos made in to normal maps from photoshop nvidia normal filter, it is looking way better than applying it as a bump map only.
how that technicly adds simulated normals to give better angled bumps, I am not technicly qualified to say why.

Greenlaw
09-28-2014, 04:58 PM
Normal maps respond to light differently from bumps maps--when set up properly, they're a bit more realistic because, as mentioned above, you're defining angles on an otherwise flat surface. (There are limits though and can push them too far if you're not careful.)

Bump maps require less memory and I find they're pretty good for tiny details. Sometimes I will use both types--normal maps for large details and bumps for smaller ones. Usually, I just use normal maps though.

As Sensei points out, bump maps are much easier to create. If you really want to create normal maps, you should look into getting 3D Coat and/or ZBrush, and/or Shadermap 2. The first two will let you paint your own normal maps directly on your object using brush and projection tools. The latter is great for taking existing photographs and textures and generating normal maps, AO, and other textures from them. If your funds are limited, get Shadermap 2--it's cheap and you can use almost any image with it.

There's a lot more I can say about the usefulness of all three programs so be sure to visit the websites for more information.

Areyos Alektor
09-28-2014, 06:18 PM
"Normal Maps" are especially interesting to save resources for real time (example: video game), or reduce the render time.

"Bump Maps" are interesting for small details, so that won't be seen at close. The ideal companion for the "Displacement Maps" which they are best suited for the volume.

"Displacement Maps" give visually best results than "Normap Maps" because unlike them they are not eye illusion. However this requires a denser mesh in geometry.

So it's not about which is better, it's necessary to know the 3, but rather what you need !

Greenlaw
09-28-2014, 06:45 PM
Well said. :)

G.

hrgiger
09-28-2014, 06:51 PM
I either create normal maps in Zbrush or can use Shadermap which will only set you back like $40. http://shadermap.com/home/

spherical
09-28-2014, 08:52 PM
"Displacement Maps" give visually best results than "Normap Maps" because unlike them they are not eye illusion. However this requires a denser mesh in geometry.

Unless you're fortunate enough to be using Octane. It does high-rez displacement on a single poly. I'm seriously Jonesing for that.

I use Wilbur (http://www.ridgenet.net/~jslayton/software.html) for creating Normal Maps from planetary elevation data in various formats. Works great. Need the 64-bit version to prevent it barfing on large datasets. You can run erosions, create rivers, all sorts of stuff.

Farhad_azer
09-29-2014, 02:06 PM
I also like displacement. too bad I do not have Octane render yet.

the results that I get from bump mapping is never satisfying for me and I thought maybe normal map would be the substitution. as I understood normal maps are not so easy to make.

bobakabob
09-29-2014, 02:27 PM
Once you start using nodes for texturing there is one which converts "bump to normal" and it's very effective especially when using procedurals.
Zbrush is an incredible creative tool for creating convincing normal maps for use in LW.

Greenlaw
09-29-2014, 02:29 PM
I wouldn't say creating a normal maps is actually difficult. While it's accurate to say that normal maps are technically more complicated than bump maps, the process itself is not that different from painting a bump map.

While it may not be easy or desirable to paint a normal map in a typical 2D paint program, if your paint program has 3D capabilities and allows you to paint normal map images, the process is essentially the same as painting a bump map. In most cases, you paint directly on your 3D object's surface the way you would on a 3D canvas in a conventional program. Then you just save your normal map and import it to Lightwave. Or in the case of Shadermap 2, you just import an appropriate 2D image and save out your normal map.

You just need to right tools to do the job.

G.

Greenlaw
09-29-2014, 02:36 PM
If you want to do this in Lightwave, it does get a little more complicated but again it's not really difficult if you have the right tools for the job. Rather than painting the normal map in a 3D paint program, you can bake a normal map texture from modeled or displaced geometry for use on a lower res object. You can do this natively in Layout or you can do it Modeler using a third party tool called PB Texture Baker (http://blytools.com/baker.html).

In this case, the process actually is much more difficult that creating a bump map, and more difficult than using a 3D paint/sculpting program, but it can be done if you don't mind doing the extra work. Also the tools are far less costly if that's a big concern.

G.

prometheus
09-29-2014, 03:10 PM
I also like displacement. too bad I do not have Octane render yet.

the results that I get from bump mapping is never satisfying for me and I thought maybe normal map would be the substitution. as I understood normal maps are not so easy to make.

just try nvidia filter out, create a text logo as a bump map, then just run the nvidia filter and create the normal map, load back the different version on to some geometry and see what looks best.

dowload it here and read about it here...
https://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-texture-tools-adobe-photoshop

Itīs dead easy to use, and once in surface editor, just go to edit nodes, add the normal map node and open that and browse to your normal map image, then connect that node to the normal map input of the surface texture.
as for procedurals, there is a bump to normal node.

Farhad_azer
10-01-2014, 07:34 AM
Thanks fellas

I will give the NVidia solution a try Prometheus.

Surrealist.
10-01-2014, 10:35 AM
I personally like xnormal which works as a plugin to photoshop (filter) as well as stand alone. From my experience better than nvidia, but you can choose.

chikega
10-01-2014, 08:28 PM
I've combined all three maps (displacement, normal and bump) on the same object to great effect. Displacement for large deformations, normal map for medium to fine details and bump for fine to very fine details (high frequency).

pinkmouse
10-02-2014, 03:25 AM
Indeed, the more the merrier.

I like Bitmap2Material, but then I have a Mac, so none of the free options work for me.

djwaterman
10-02-2014, 05:02 AM
I just can't figure out how to use the Xnormal photoshop plugin. Any clues?

Surrealist.
10-03-2014, 04:16 AM
Make sure you have the release that works with your current version of PS. This has happened to me on a few occasions. Recently in fact; installed latest version of PS CC and the latest version of Xnromal and it did not show up in filters. Something broke in there someplace. Last time it was because I did not have the newer version of Xnormal. One thing I had not tried yet was to go back a version on xnormal. I would try different versions of Xnormal (listed on his site), and see if you can get one working.

djwaterman
10-03-2014, 05:11 AM
It shows up, and I can use it, but it's not intuitive at all for me so I just don't use it, and the preview is small. Actually it's not any more un-intuitive than the Nvidia one I guess. A lot of those input fields don't mean anything to me so it all becomes guess work and experimentation.

Surrealist.
10-03-2014, 07:32 AM
Oh, I miss read it. Works fine for me. I'd have to try the nvidia one again I guess to see what it was I liked so much better about xnormal.

But using Xnormal I usually just leave most the settings at default and play with the smoothing setting which helps especially if the map you are converting is noisy.

Then follow up with the normalize map.

I think there was a tutorial for dDo that walked me through xnormal.

Anyways, as I was saying I suggest playing with both to see which one works the best for you (the OP).

For whatever reason I gravitated towards Xnormal and a very fast and easy to use that gave good quality.

Greenlaw
10-03-2014, 09:39 AM
ShaderMap Pro is super easy to use. At its simplest, just drag and drop your image and click the batch render button. A few seconds later, you will have a normal, AO, displacement and spec map all ready to drop into Lightwave.

Of course, it can do much more if you choose to do so, but most of the time, that's how I use it. ShaderMap used to be about $20, but even at it's current price (I think it's $40 now) it's a bargain.

Tips:

- It works best with tileable images. You can make non-tiling images easily using the Offset command and the Clone brush in PS or if you need to get fancy, use ImageSynth 2.

- I've used SMP to generate maps for city building facades--what a huge timesaver! Also great for rock textures, tree bark, wall carvings, armor, tombstones, food, etc. If you have a digital camera, the possibilities are endless.

- SMP can subtract directional shadows in the photo when generating its depth data for normal and displacement maps but of course there are limitations. Most of the time, it works just fine though so don't worry too much about painting out shadows. If it's not right at the default settings, you can adjust this to taste.

- Everything is set up automatically for you, but because it's somewhat nodal-ish and everything is adjustable if you need to really get in and tweak the results. The interface lets you mix images for complex effects, and it even has a basic brush tool for painting normal displacements and depth in the image.

I highly recommend it.

G.

Surrealist.
10-03-2014, 10:03 AM
Hey cool tips.

By the way, Substance Designer is also nodal and will generate maps from meshes.