Crazy Bump functionality in Blender?


Forgive me if this has been answered already somewhere. I just seen the excellent video tutorial from Andrew on how to make proper textures, which was really nice.

Right now it seems we still have to use some workarounds (external programs/node setup) to make all the diffrent texture maps work. So i am wondering wether you folks are considering it or already have it somewhere on a roadmap, if something like the functionality from Crazy Bump eventually is gonna make it into Blender in such a way, that you just have to press a button and then it will automaticly setup all the texture maps (normal/specular/glow/what have you not in this verse) with nodes for you inside Blender; including the ability to adjust the texture individually, if you click on an edit button, that is on the node. :eyebrowlift:


I can’t speak for anybody else but personally I use nDo for all that. It’s cheaper, has more tweakable parameters, and you can create your own hard surface normals. But the down-side is you need Photoshop for it to work.

It could probably be developed as an add-on, if someone had the time to do it. If you have some papers or other things about how the code behind it works, I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody picked it up as a project.
Afaik it isn’t planned as a feature atm and again AFAIK most people use external programs in order to create things like textures and the like, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people are okay(ish?) with the current workflow (which fits better than the word workaround in my humble opinion). Node set-ups can be recycled, or even generated with a python script, which reduces the time required once set up.

Bump on that, I too would like to press a button to automatically generate texture maps (with nodes).
I hate all the fuss of having to sculpt my textures in Zbrush, grab all those maps and miserably assemble everything is PS and god,
sometimes I have to paint some:(.

Besides, why pay for CrazyBump if we could have it for free in Blender?

I agree, between nDo and Xnormal, you dont really need much else if you want to avoid internal 3d app baking.

Both nDo1 and Xnormal are free with nDo2 costing money.

Because someone has to put time and energy into actually developing such a system?
EDIT: I have problems with detecting sarcasm, disregard what’s above here.

Ah yeah, Xnormal is quite nice!
For those that don’t know it:

As a dummy, can I ask what the typical workflow is? I’ve made my own layered textures in PS, which I turn to b/w for bump and stuff…but really, when someone takes a picture in the real world for a texture, is the industry standard practice to sculpt something to use for generating normal maps for it (and the others like displacement, AO, etc.)?

Depends on what the asset is. In a game environment, artist dont always have time to sculpt or make high poly versions of every asset, so short cuts are used…ndo is a good example. For the more important assets, game weapons, characters, bigger set pieces, sculpting and or high poly meshes will be used to get normal information. These can even be combined with the normals put out from photoshop plugins like ndo.

The typical workflow, for doing high quality assets, is to model a high poly mesh (sculpt or otherwise) in which to bake details onto a lower poly mesh which has been UVed. The low poly might have to come from retopology, which is essentially modeling a lower poly version over the high poly. Blender and some other applications such as 3d coat and topogun can do this very easily.

I think something like this might be a good candidate for a GSoC project.

It would certainly be VERY handy to have this functionality built in to Blender.

You mean for 2d textures or 3d? I found the 3d normal map baking in blender to be pretty straightforward and effective. For 2d normal map baking, that might work better as a plug in for something like Gimp. Honestly I think the last thing Blender needs is new features. It needs to fix, perfect and polish what it has now before it should be thinking of adding new features including 2d.

I agree with SaintHaven - get the current tools solid (and the GSoC 2012 branches too) before adding more and more features. Plus I vote against having this feature in Blender. Soon it’ll be getting image editing tools in the UV editor and it’ll turn into a (poor) alternative to Photoshop/GIMP. Maybe we can throw some audio editing in there too? Then Blender will be trying to do so many things it’ll be crap at all of them.

Although as an add-on, for a quick and dirty generation of bump, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad… :wink:

Often a simple but more efficient external tool is preferable over having every type of functionality bolted on.

…and should CrazyBump prove to be too expensive for your taste, a great (inexpensive) alternative would be ShaderMap:

Also supports basic normal map painting, and works really well with Photoshop/Photoline as external editors.

Just a straight 2D texture conversion feature/add-on/whatever. People can say “That’s what Xnormal/nDo/Crazy Bump is for…” but then why does Blender have a built-in camera tracker? Why does it have a built-in VSE or game engine? There are cheap, even free, alternatives out there for such things, yet Blender does them internally. I would think this particular capability, compared to what Blender can already do, is small potatoes from a development perspective, but it would introduce a very handy built-in tool for average users.

Maybe as a stop-gap measure to get bump in there, yeah, an add-on would be good. But as for Blender’s other features, I’m not necessarily condoning them either. 3dsmax has a camera tracker - is it as good as dedicated software for the job (e.g. boujou)? No way. Neither is Blender’s camera tracker. VSE? Meh, it’s OK. Better than Max’s post. In terms of free alternatives, cinelerra is pretty capable and is dedicated to the job. Can’t speak for the game engine. The modelling, animation and compositing though, well, I used to use Max at work but switched to Blender because it’s just so frickin’ fast (and stable). Max would crash every hour doing the same job.

All that aside, by all means throw a poor man’s crazy bump in there to appease the masses. Just sayin’ the dedicated tools will do a better job at it.

No one knows how to make crazybump, well except the crazybump dude. It’s height detection is very good.

Maybe something realistic is a normal map node, which just turns greyscale map into normal map. Then eventually people will make preset node groups which output specular/normal after being through some “treatment” to give them more depth.

Blender is obviously trying to be a start-to-finish piece of software for 3D images/animations. While it would take a lot more to get a Photoshop-type of capability implemented, such texture generation is a no-brainer as far as usefulness.

However, let me caveat that by saying I am NOT a programmer, so I have no idea just how complex such a task would be. Compared to Cycles, fire simulation, and rigid-body physics, though, I would be surprised if this task would even be in the same ballpark.

Caveat #2: Priorities. I definitely file this under “nice to have.” If another programmer out there has the time and inclination to develop an add-on, fantastic, but Brecht and Campbell and the other big guys have bigger fish to fry for the foreseeable future.

Sorry guys, whatever I wrote above was an irony, but apparently a guy that writes

'it seems we still have to use some workarounds (external programs/node setup)" (…) 'you just have to press a button and then it will automaticly setup all the texture maps
can be treated seriously.

Whoops should have seen the tone of your first post indeed ( my irony/bullshit meter is apparently broken again I’ll get it fixed, in the mean time I’ll write up a petition to include sarcasm and irony tags in html) Sorry for not noticing.

Thanks for all the tips guys. Much appreciated.

PS: If you watch the video, you see there are still workarounds needed in setting up the nodes and thats clearly something in house, which can be streamlined. As for the whole Crazy Bump thing, that is of course debatable. I would not mind this or similar becoming standard in some of the software packages, as it directly effects how you percieve the model in 3d.

Photoshop is of course still gonna be Photshop and it would be quite silly trying to implent something like this.