How do I fake 3D in Gimp 2.8+?

This is hard to describe…

I am using Blender 2.49b because the version of the plugin PyPRP which works with that version of Blender, is the most complete. PyPRP allows me to create my own ages for Myst Online Uru Live and Myst Complete Chronicles. One of the things that PyPRP does not support, yet the games do, is Bump/Normal mapping. So I have to go old skool and create fake 3D textures.

OK, now I have the Gimp DDS and Normal Map plugins. I know the Gimp can handle this, just as good if not better than Photoshop, but I will admit it is FAR easier in Photoshop to create a 3D effect. In Gimp I have to mess around with Bump Map, Bevel and a bunch of other things. Few tutorials cover the process of creating a fake 3D texture in Gimp. All I have found so far are about creating the assets - Normal Map and so forth - or texture painting, for use in a program like Blender.

Now I can create a super-detailed model in Blender and then bake my textures. But that is even slower and hard to work with than Gimp. What I mean by that is that it is easier and quicker to export my basic UVs from Blender, put them into Gimp, and do the texture work there. I don’t know, my understanding here is not great, maybe I could do everything in Blender and bake out my textures.

Anyhow I need a flat, 2D image (a texture) that looks like it is in 3D. I remember texture painting stuff like this in Photoshop. I got some really good results! I just want to figure out how to do that in Gimp. Here is a video to explain what I am after:

I want to do that, or better than that, in Gimp. If possible I would like to create the Normal and Bump maps in Gimp, and somehow have them affect the final texture, which I could then export and use in Blender. The Normal for depth, the Bump Map for roughness or detail. I want to make something that even if you walked up to it in Uru and put your face on the surface it will still look 3D. Similar to what I have done in the video above with Photoshop.

How do I do this? I know how to create my base texture, how to create hand-drawn bricks and tile them. I can handle that stuff. But how do I get a super realistic 3D effect in Gimp?

As always, I appreciate the help.

Once you have your texture made, duplicate it into a new layer. To this new layer apply the Filter: Distorts:Emboss effect. Set the Blend mode of this layer to Hard Light or Soft Light and adjust the Opacity if necessary.

Steve S

Thank you.

I will give this a try tomorrow.