View Full Version : Make normal or bump maps from Photos

06-28-2007, 03:51 PM

06-28-2007, 03:58 PM
Excellent link. Thanks pooby!

06-28-2007, 05:57 PM
very nice pooby. thanks a bunch for the link

06-28-2007, 08:29 PM

06-28-2007, 08:47 PM
Another excellent link Larry.

An idea: It may be useful for the community if Newtek would consider creating a sticky of CG-based utility/resource links, similar to the ones that have been posted in this thread.

Steve Warner
06-29-2007, 11:20 AM
And one more: http://www.xnormal.net/
This one will also let you create Displacement maps, Normal Maps and Cavity/Occlusion maps from photos.

06-29-2007, 12:05 PM
Awesome links, thanks guys. Seems like bump maps are dead, it's all about normal maps now.

06-29-2007, 01:21 PM
Normal maps generated by CrazyBump need to be
inverted on Y axis to work with LW Normal node.

For those who are not afraid by nodes, you could also
get interesting result with Normal Cast node and
Surface Baking Camera.
Load Height image in Image Map output the bump
to a "Bump to Normal" node and connect the result
in normal output of Normal Cast node connected to
Diffuse Shading.
You can vary the result by filtering a bit the
height map by editing it in Image Editor and/or
adding some blur in Image processing.


06-29-2007, 01:49 PM
The node settings:
Y has been inverted in Normal Cast to compare
with CrazyBump result.


06-29-2007, 02:28 PM
Since we are rendering only a square for this map type,
the Surface Baking Camera is not needed, so we can use
the Classic Camera, but the square poly still need to be
UV mapped (Z planar), since this is the way to get
"Tangent Space" in Normal Cast.

Here I have used the luma output of a cubic image map
then averaged to bumb (x6) with "Scalar To Bump" node:


06-29-2007, 03:11 PM
what difference is between a normal map and a bump map??....i have missed out on everything about normal maps :(

is there a significant difference in the end result, does it do something a bump map cant??

06-29-2007, 03:54 PM
you need to write a book on nodes Denis. I think we would all find it incredibly usefull.

Steve Warner
06-29-2007, 04:25 PM
what difference is between a normal map and a bump map??....is there a significant difference in the end result, does it do something a bump map cant??

From Wikipedia:

In 3D computer graphics, normal mapping is an application of the technique known as bump mapping. Normal mapping is sometimes referred to as "Dot3 bump mapping". While bump mapping perturbs the existing normal (the way the surface is facing) of a model, normal mapping replaces the normal entirely. Like bump mapping, it is used to add details to shading without using more polygons. But where a bump map is usually calculated based on a single-channel (interpreted as grayscale) image, the source for the normals in normal mapping is usually a multichannel image (that is, channels for "red", "green" and "blue" as opposed to just a single color) derived from a set of more detailed versions of the objects. The values of each channel (color) usually represent the xyz coordinates of the normal in the point corresponding to that texel.


In practical terms, normal maps are like bump maps on steroids. They allow you to create more realistic bumps on your surface. Normal maps are typically used to recreate the details of a high-poly mesh on a low-res object. This is typically done for use in game engines, although it can also be used in film and video production.

06-29-2007, 04:46 PM
Thanks for the clarification Steve :thumbsup:

Ill take a look into normal maps as soon as i get the time for it, sounds pretty powerfull though :)

06-30-2007, 02:45 PM
Check out this thread, it's a good read and goes into great detail about normal maps. I'm still trying to wrap my head around them, but this should help.


06-30-2007, 06:38 PM
There's also a Photoshop plug in from Nvidia that can make normal maps from images.