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Jordanpierreag 10-11-2009 12:18 PM

Types of Maps
I was wondering how many different types of maps are in 3d and what do they do?

I know a couple of them and a little about them but I would like to find an in depth description about them to get a good understanding of what they can do. The maps I know are Normal Maps(I heard these are aka diffuse maps, is this true?), Bump maps, specular maps, displacement maps, and I think there's an occlusion map but I'm not sure.

I believe normal maps are used so to get fine detail without creating more geometry. It has to do something with how light affects R,G,B.

Bump Maps are also affected by the light source but it also doesn't manipulate geometry. Creating the Bump map the white will make the lighter colors seem to pop and black will let darker colors recede in the texture once rendered.

Specular maps I think just give a stronger specular highlight.

Displacement maps manipulate actually geometry corresponding to a texture.

And finally the last map I know, Occlusion mimics global illumination or realistic lighting - where light won't reach certain places so it is dark in small nooks in like a small crack in a door.

Please help, I just really want to understand these terms and other maps if there are more. A big thank you to anyone who can answer. :D

Gen 10-11-2009 03:37 PM

There are a bunch of different maps actually and they're not limited to shading, you can control dynamic some simulations etc. I mean there are the typical maps like color, transparency, bump, displacement, specular but you can create maps for many other channels you'd like to control.

As far as getting to know normal maps a little better you can check its wiki page. I wouldn't say specular maps make highlights stronger, I'd say it enables the specularity to vary across the surface.

honestdom 10-11-2009 04:26 PM

a bald map is my favorite...

i suggest just playing around with some of the basic ones like bump, spec, disp, normal. it will be a good way to get familiar with what they do, and how you could use them in your work. :)

septopus 10-11-2009 07:34 PM

not to confuse a map vs a pass [rendered]
hmm, so many maps
some maps are rendered, others are painted like a color map or such

diffuse map > flat color map

ambient map > secondary diffuse

specular diffuse > color for specular highlight

specular map > grayscale for controlling spec strength

occlusion map > grayscale map for
highlighting blacks and whites

shadow map > baked shadows into a map [rendered ]

normal map > a height map [rendered or painted ]

displacement map > another height map
[rendered or painted ]

bump map > another height map
[rendered or painted ]

*dont quote me on these

Chirone 10-11-2009 08:00 PM

normal maps and bump maps are essentially the same
the only difference is that normal maps are faster to render because they've gone through a pre-processing stage

septopus 10-11-2009 09:59 PM


Originally posted by Chirone
normal maps and bump maps are essentially the same
the only difference is that normal maps are faster to render because they've gone through a pre-processing stage

hmm, not quite.
its normal maps dont get re-processed when rendering true, but a normal map has 3 channels, and bump is grayscale. a lot more can be done with normal maps than just bump mapping ;)

but the 4 most common maps when rendering still images are diffuse, ambient, specular diffuse/map, and bump/displacement/normal maps.

3ddon 11-11-2009 09:44 AM

also opacity maps are there........
am I correct?

Gen 11-11-2009 11:47 AM


Originally posted by 3ddon
also opacity maps are there........
am I correct?

Opacity/Transparency yep.

NextDesign 12-11-2009 02:29 PM

There are an infinite number of maps, as most attributes can be mapped.

Jordanpierreag 14-11-2009 04:22 AM

Thanks guys! Helped me out a lot. :D Can you guys recommend any kind of reference I should check out? Like a book or dvds?

3ddon 14-11-2009 05:31 PM

are you asking reference books for texturing.............?

Jordanpierreag 16-11-2009 09:21 AM

Books n dvds
I guess anything that will help me with the maps. How to use them, tutorials and actually trying excercises that go along with them. They're used for texturing right? So I guess texturing books or resources sounds good.

Gen 16-11-2009 04:29 PM

Get your hands dirty. Plop a some primitives on a plane under a spotlight, open the Hypershade, create and assign some shaders and start start plugging textures into various shaders' channels like color, specular, reflectivity, transparency, bump and see what comes out in the render. Ideas for practical applications will hit you like a ton of bricks.

Chirone 16-11-2009 07:55 PM

the texture mapping tutorials that come with maya are good. start with those and you'll get the basic idea and then you can figure most things out from there

eventually you'll figure out when to use a monochrome map and where you can use a map with the 4 colour and alpha channels

m0hammad 20-01-2014 02:20 PM

i become mad!! with maps ! i cant understand !- when i learn a map like bump- then i understand there is another map ! and when i learn it too ! i understand again there is another map and another after another!!

how can i learn all of maps - and i learn what they do?

tell me for example for a realstic human how many maps use?

tell me the maps names too please

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