In this Photoshop 3D tutorial, you’ll learn to work with Bump maps, Normal maps, and Depth maps.
We will create a realistic brick wall using Photoshop’s 3D features and a Depth Map. We will also discuss Bump Maps and Normal Maps, which can add more detail and realism to 3D objects.
Table of contents
Bump Maps in Photoshop 3D
Bump maps are grayscale images allowing you to fake details in 3D objects. The actual 3D geometry is not changed in any way. The detail that they generate is simply a lighting trick on the surface of 3D objects.
The 256 different levels of luminosity in bump maps are used to tell Photoshop how far to push down or pull down.
Bump maps are really easy to create using Photoshop’s 3D filters. Go to Filter > 3D > Generate Bump Map. This will bring up the Generate Bump Map dialog box, which gives you an interactive 3D preview with controls on how to generate the grayscale image that will make up your Bump map.
After you generate your Bump map, you can edit it with any of photoshop’s regular adjustments, tools, or filters. One common technique is to use the Dodge and Burn tools to adjust the luminosity of specific areas.
Even though Bump Maps can be handy in many projects, their drawback is that they do not look very realistic in certain angles.
Normal Maps in Photoshop 3D
Normal Maps are very similar to bump maps. They also allow you to fake the illusion of depth and detail on a 3D object without adding any 3D geometry. But Normal maps do it differently.
A Normal Map uses RGB information corresponding to the X, Y, and Z-axis in 3D space. The RGB channels tell Photoshop the direction of the surface normals are oriented for every polygon.
Normal maps are as easy to create in Photoshop as Bump maps. Go to Filter > 3D > Generate Bump Map.
The Generate Normal Map dialog box is almost identical to the Generate Bump Map dialog box. It also gives you an interactive 3D preview, with controls on how to generate the image that will make up your Normal map.
Unlike a Bump map, Normal maps can be challenging to edit in Photoshop.
Each RGB channel is adjusted to present a movement in a single axis in 3D. Any adjustments would need to be made to the appropriate RGB channel, not the whole image.
Depth Maps in Photoshop 3D
Depth maps are 2D images that use their luminance values to create 3D objects. Unlike Bump maps or Normal maps, Depth maps in Photoshop do alter the 3D geometry of an object.
In this tutorial, we use a Bump map as a Depth map to create our 3D object.
This image was also created using a Depth map 3D modeling technique similar to the one shown in this video.
Links Mentioned in This Tutorial
Adobe Stock Image (Brick Wall):
Photoshop CC Minimum System Requirements:
Drag The Slider To See Before & After