Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 30

Thread: Normal vs. bump: when to use?

  1. #1
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    14,729

    Question Normal vs. bump: when to use?

    This hasn't come up for me, but now that I'm using 3dC I'm wondering:

    When is it appropriate to use a Normal map versus a Bump map?
    They only call it 'class warfare' when we fight back.
    Praise to Buddha! #resist
    Chard's Credo-"Documentation is PART of the Interface"
    Film the cops. Always FILM THE COPS. Use this app.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by jeric_synergy View Post
    This hasn't come up for me, but now that I'm using 3dC I'm wondering:

    When is it appropriate to use a Normal map versus a Bump map?

    I use both at the same time. I use normal maps to get the general surface adjustments and use bump maps to add the finer detail. Normals at fine detail have to be very large maps.
    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates - "I Drank What??"

  4. #4
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    14,729
    Quote Originally Posted by MSherak View Post
    I use both at the same time. I use normal maps to get the general surface adjustments and use bump maps to add the finer detail. Normals at fine detail have to be very large maps.
    Do you use lower rez maps then for the Bump?
    They only call it 'class warfare' when we fight back.
    Praise to Buddha! #resist
    Chard's Credo-"Documentation is PART of the Interface"
    Film the cops. Always FILM THE COPS. Use this app.

  5. #5
    Member ActionBob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Aurora, Colorado
    Posts
    259
    I would posit that it is a matter of distance. If you are doing a hero shot on an object, I wouldn't use either. Normal maps are much nicer than bump, but at any reasonable range (particularly with certain angles), I can spot them a mile away. That said, I would always favor a good normal map over a bump map these days as bump maps are really a legacy thing. Again, it really depends on distance and what "look" you are going for. If it is not intended to be a photo-real asset, then whatever is easiest and resource efficient for you is fine.

    With the advent of tools such as 3d Coat, the Quixel suite or Substance painter, you can now simply paint normal maps without needing to bake from a high res asset. However, it also depends on the asset. Normals are great for things like paneling and adding "depth" to things that aren't the focus of a shot; details that you notice in passing or things that would simply take too much time to model - say the pores and dimples of an orange / something organic. But if the camera is held or focused too long, particularly at the wrong angle, those bump and normal shading tricks are revealed for what they are - tricks.

    Not knocking them in any way, they have their uses and are essential to for some types of detail, but given the poly-pushing hardware we have available to us these days, I tend to lean more toward actual model geometry.

    -Adrian

  6. #6
    a bump map can be grey scale ( one channel) a normal map is three channels (RGB) so like for like the normal map is three times the file size of the bump map, I use both together but where as I might take a bump map to 4 or 8k I tend to keep normal maps at around the 2k mark for practical reasons, particularly if I am loading a lot.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jeric_synergy View Post
    Do you use lower rez maps then for the Bump?
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Pointing up to response above this for the way you want to go
    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates - "I Drank What??"

  8. #8
    Time Traveller Andy Webb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Hertfordshire UK
    Posts
    2,154
    The problem I always have with normal maps is whether they need inverting in LW.

    I can never makeup my mind as to whether the normal map is working as it should, once I start messing around ir never looks right what ever I do...
    Andy Webb

    Intel core i7-3820 3.60GHz
    Asus P9X79 Deluxe motherboard
    GeForce GTX 660
    32 Gb RAM
    Windows 10

  9. #9
    Vacant, pretty vacant pinkmouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    South Yorkshire
    Posts
    1,701
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Webb View Post
    ...once I start messing around ir never looks right what ever I do...
    Yeah, just like that hollow face illusion.
    Al
    "I conceive of nothing, in religion, science or philosophy, that is more than the proper thing to wear, for a while." Charles Fort

    My Website
    My Lightwave Tutorials

  10. #10
    Time Traveller Andy Webb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Hertfordshire UK
    Posts
    2,154
    Exactly
    Andy Webb

    Intel core i7-3820 3.60GHz
    Asus P9X79 Deluxe motherboard
    GeForce GTX 660
    32 Gb RAM
    Windows 10

  11. #11
    Has it been stated yet? Well it can't be stated too many times, always make sure your normal map is set to Linear in the image editor.

  12. #12
    Time Traveller Andy Webb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Hertfordshire UK
    Posts
    2,154
    Quote Originally Posted by djwaterman View Post
    Has it been stated yet? Well it can't be stated too many times, always make sure your normal map is set to Linear in the image editor.
    That's a must
    Andy Webb

    Intel core i7-3820 3.60GHz
    Asus P9X79 Deluxe motherboard
    GeForce GTX 660
    32 Gb RAM
    Windows 10

  13. #13
    Adapting Artist jasonwestmas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    11,398
    I rarely see the need for bump maps unless the UV seams are posing a problem with the normal map; Making the seam more noticeable with a normal map is sometimes an issue if the unwrap is complex or poorly done. I usually only use normal maps for fine detail anyway if I don't have the time to render super fine displacements. Granted for real time rendering you almost always have to have a normal map unless of course your style calls more just flat texture shading. Which is fine for a lot of games I've worked on. And as mentioned, normal map verses displacement depends on how close the subject is to the camera.

    Over time one can get pretty good at spotting an inverted color channel in a normal map. Usually it's just the green channel that needs to be inverted these days.
    All that is powerful or long standing is first conceived in the imagination; supported by the hope of possibility and then made manifest in our commitment of our current physical reality.

  14. #14
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    14,729
    If I use them at all, it'll be via direct creation in 3dC rather than a LW normal bake-- that's just too much tech for me.

    Jason, thanks for the info: mostly over my game though!
    They only call it 'class warfare' when we fight back.
    Praise to Buddha! #resist
    Chard's Credo-"Documentation is PART of the Interface"
    Film the cops. Always FILM THE COPS. Use this app.

  15. #15
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    S
    Posts
    3,511
    Quote Originally Posted by djwaterman View Post
    Has it been stated yet? Well it can't be stated too many times, always make sure your normal map is set to Linear in the image editor.
    Nice tip

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •