Could Somebody explain "maps" better?

I read the pages on the wikibook for blender but it didn’t help much. I’m trying to eventually sell some 3D models on a site, and on the site people sometimes include multiple maps, one that’s the texture, and then another that looks like it’s inverted or something. I’m somewhat confused as to what maps are and the difference between their types.

you have so many type of map in CG
most common like bump - normal spec- mirror - alpha- emit ect…

i think i’v seen up to over 25 different type of map and mapping in blender

so take your time you won’t learn all of theses in a week
only time will teach you how to deal with theses

hope it helps
happy 2.5

A couple of blender wiki docs that detail map useage

A “map” is “a bitmap.” Maybe it’s a color image; maybe, black and white. It might be a color image that should be pasted onto the faces of an object. It might correspond to something like “transparency.” Or to a sense of “bumpiness.” Or to something else.

In any case, it’s a square or rectangular two-dimensional set of information that the computer can use in some useful way.

Since it’s pixel-by-pixel in nature, a map is highly detailed … much more so than the geometry … and it’s also “light-weight.” You’ll therefore see maps being used as inputs to a lot of the compositing nodes.

There is one more, different, use of the word “map”: UV Mapping.

That use of the word “map” is referring to the process of telling Blender how regions on various (two-dimensional, of course…) bitmaps, should be applied to the faces of (three-dimensional, of course…) objects.

Great explanations guys, but since I’ve already typed this, I’m gonna post it anyway. :wink:

The term map is pretty generic, and is sometimes used as both a noun and a verb, so sometimes it can get confusing to understand.

“A map” is usually a texture of some sort that has values associated with it such as UV coordinates, alpha transparency information, color information, lighting or depth information, etc. “To map” means to create the relationship between 2 things usually one of of those types of properties, and a texture. So I basically think of maps as relationships, or the bitmap result of an established relationship.

So for example, lighting and shadow information can take more time to render, so one might ‘bake’ the shadow information into the texture. The resulting textures might be called a “shadow map,” or an “AO map”

I hope this helps and that I’m not confusing you. This is an important concept that applies to any 3D software, not just Blender of course.

There are many types of ‘maps’. For reference maybe you should research some of the following:

procedural textures
uv map
color map
bump map
alpha map

Thanks everyone, that pretty much got rid of my confusion. Seeing that there are many, I guess I’ll just have to learn them over time. I am familiar with UV Mapping, and can bump map with gimp. But I guess I’ll have to learn more about the others before getting into using them.

The “node-based” systems … which are now everywhere in Blender … are where these techniques really come together and shine. You can process digital information in any way that you can figure out how to “plumb together.” It’s fairly easy to lay your hands on production files where some very elaborate node networks (“noodles”) have been put together, and you study them by taking them apart. At first, it’s bewildering :eek: … but then you start to get the hang of it, and then it starts becoming intuitive, and then you are going :eek: for a very different reason, i.e. :cool:.

Get the “concepts and facilities” down pat in your mind first. Then, “nodes are the Swiss Army Knife” that will let you get as technically creative as you care to be.