Normal etc maps

So i was jsut wondering…How do people (big buck bunny makers) get the normal and spec maps? Do they use a program called crazy bump? or do they use the composting in blender to get these images? or do they just use old time photoshop?


OSS projects generally try to use OSS programs in the pipeline, so…Giimp!

Word…the gimp…is there a quick easy way to making the normal a spec maps? some short of filter? or a turtial i am missing and need to look at?

I use photoshop.

Take your full color image you want to use as your bump/normal map and open it in photoshop. Make sure it is a single layer and apply the Gradient Map filter to it. Once the first dialog comes up, click on the gradient itself to enter the gradient editor. The gradient editor will allow you to choose the low and high end of the color mapping into gray scale space. This is usefull if you know you want to design other elements that will bump only a certain range compared to the photo itself.

I am attaching a bump map I made for a coin.

I reserved the brightest white for the outer edge of the coin. I reserved the lowest black for the interior of the coin. Then I chose a dimmer white for the lettering and wrote down that RGB value. That became the whitest-white in my gradient map for the food product. I also wanted the lowest black of the food product to stand out a bit against the coin background, so I chose a brighter black for the lowest color on the gradient map. The green is just the alpha in the original PNG file.

To do precise bump mapping, you should not use the JPEG format because it is lossy and will blur your edges in an uncontrollable manner. I created the entire composition in after effects, then applied a slight blur to the overall coin map and saved it out as a PNG so I could preserve the alpha.