#CreativeFriday – Adding a Bump Map to a 3D surface in Photoshop CC 2015

This post extends the new Photoshop 3D features post that I posted last week. I wanted to show how to add a texture to a surface of a 3d model (a cylinder in this example), then create a 2.5D Bump map from it.

Inside Photoshop with a new canvas open, it’s easy to create a 3D object from a template object. Choosing 3D / New Mesh from Layer / Mesh Preset and choose the base object.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 14.26.56The result will be a simple Cylinder

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 14.27.26Adding a texture to a surface in Photoshop 3D is easy.  Either click directly on the surface (marked with the red arrow), or select the surface material from the 3D panel (marked with the red box). The properties panel (Yellow) will then give access to the material properties.

The Diffuse property will define the surface material.You can change the Diffuse texture by clicking on the folder marked in green above.

This action will open the texture (if one does not exist, Photoshop will ask you to confirm the creation of a new one). Once the texture has been openede, you might seen funny black lines on the canvas, these are the UV maps. The UV map is showing you the polygons in a flat 2D orientation. The important thing here, is that the texture at each pixel point will map onto the actual texture on the 3D model, so it’s always good to see both sides.

Choosing from the Photoshop menu system Window / Arrange / 2 up Vertical will allow you to see both sides and monitor your texture progress. If you take the brush tool and select each window in turn and move the brush around, you should see the cursor which is tracking on the UV mapping references.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 14.44.11

Adding a texture to the surface is simple, and to do this i’ll use an image from Adobe Stock. I would like to use some fire and i don’t have one locally, so the Stock service will be ideal for this.

From the File menu, you can choose ‘Search Adobe Stock’, then you can find an image that might work for the texture / desired effect.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 14.46.52

Choosing a refernce image is free and won’t come from your allocation, and will be synced straight to your desktop applications via the Creative Cloud library, in the case below, synced to ‘2D Shapes’ library.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 14.47.34The synced asset will be available in the Libraries panel (marked in Yellow), inside Photoshop CC 2015 once the sync has completed. It’s then easy to drag and drop the watermarked (For Placement Only) texture onto the texture of the surface.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 14.53.31The get the image to cover the area and in the correct orientation, it can be re-sized using the standard Photoshop 2D tools.

To License the Image, you can right click on the image in the Library planel (marked in red) and a royaly free High Resolution image will be downlaoded, the water marked version will be replaced once the file has re-synced.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 14.53.31v2(This technique will also work with the water marked image, the water mark will be part of the final texture, but this can all be changed dynamically later one, once the creative decisions have been made).

The texture can be saved and closed.

To create the bump map from the texture, select the surface again (from the 3D panel or by clicking directly on the model), marked in red below. This will allow editing of the material properties, at which point clicking on the Bump texture folder (marked in yellow), and choosing ‘Generate Bumps from Diffuse’  (marked in green).

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 15.06.27The next panel will give you creative control of the bump maps that will be generated.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 15.06.50Once OK has been pressed, the bump map height can be controled by using the Bump Map slider. The results of the bump will be seen on the model on the screen.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 15.12.55This object could stay like this with colour, but i’m going to remove the colour and keep just the bump maps.

To do this, the Diffuse texture needs to be re-opened. This can be done from the material properties panel (marked green), and the ‘Edit Texture’ selected (marked blue).

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 15.15.51One the texture has been opened, i’ve just created a new black colour layer, selecting from the menu Layer / New Fill Layer / Solid Colour / and choosing black or a dark grey (you many need to play with these colours a little, to find the optimum for your desgin).

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 15.15.51v3Once this has updated, the surface will be a single colour and the bump map will show through.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 15.23.57The object can now be printed. In the example I have the new Tinkerine Ditto Pro selected (marked in Yelow), as well as the Min and Max displacement values (marked in red). The Min and Max displacemet values will raise / invert the hight of the bump maps on the surface of the print.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 16.14.07You can see that the bump maps have been transfered to the Print output.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 16.18.33

We hope you enjoy placing bump maps onto surface for either 2D or 3D models. Please get in touch if you have some interesting concepts/ prints or ideas that you would like to share.


One Response to #CreativeFriday – Adding a Bump Map to a 3D surface in Photoshop CC 2015

  1. Oh wow! Thanks for posting this. Will definitely play around with this 🙂