#CreativeFriday – Creating Bump/Normal maps in Photoshop CC 2014 from any image.

One of the new features in the 2014 release of Photoshop CC is the ability to create a bump or normal map from any image.

There are two new menu items in this version of Photoshop available on the tool bar menu, Filter / 3D.

  • Generate Bump Map
  • Generate Normal Map

What’s a Bump Map

Bump mapping is a technique in computer graphics for simulating bumps and wrinkles on the surface of an object.

What’s a Normal Map

Normal mapping used to re-detail simplified meshes. Normal mapping, or “Dot3 bump mapping”, is a technique used for faking the lighting of bumps and dents – an implementation of Bump mapping. It is used to add details without using more polygons.

To Generate a Bump Map

. Open a JPG in Photoshop (if another file, just flatten it)

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.10.50

. Select menu option Filter / 3D / Generate Bump Map.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.10.50


. the image will turn into a gray scale image.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.11.03

. Now save this image on the desktop (in the example below i’ve called it Bump.jpg).

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.11.03

. Now revert the menu option so that you end up with the original file.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.10.50

. Create a 3D Extrusion from the image, Menu option 3D/ New 3D Extrusion from Layer

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.11.41

. Once this happens the image will become the font face of the 3D object. To select the object make sure you have the move tool selected ‘V’ key and click on the 3D object. At this point you should see the navigation options of the cage. Also, open the 3D window as well (as shown below), the 3D window will show the structure of the 3D object, and provide easy access to all faces.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.11.51

. Click on the Front inflation property (marked yellow) inside the 3D window.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.11.54

. Open the properties window and navigate to the Bump slider (marked in red below), then click on the bump map texture loader icon (marked in yellow). This will load the previous generated Bump map into the 3D model.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.12.13

. Choose load texture and point it to the bump map that you created earlier.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.12.13

This will load the bump map into the bump map channel of the front face of the 3D object.

. Once the file is loaded, you can increase the strength of the bump to show the bump map releif (shown in red). To show the effect i have just used the rotation and dolly navigation tools (marked yellow), to zoom in and rotate the object.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 20.13.11

You can do the same with Normal maps using the Generate Normal Map option from the Filter / 3D menu.


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#CreativeFriday – Photoshop 2014.1 update

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