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13-12-2010, 09:25 PM   #4
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jsprogg's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,708
The most under rated of the maps mentioned is the specular map, every surface has some kinder of specular and if you get the spec component right on your material it will go a long way to creating realism and the most important map in my opinion.
The choice between Bump and Normal map really depends on the model itself and its intended use, a bump may suffice from a distance but may not stand up to very close scrutiny and a normal map would be an improvement.If you are going really close up you might consider a bump/normal map in conjunction with a displacement map.
a Displacement map actually alters (displaces) the geometry at render time and can be viewed from any angle where as a bump can only be viewed from the angle facing the camera and is more an illusion of bumpiness (an example might be something like a brick viewed close up, the front of the brick would appear to have a roughness but the edges viewed head on would not be rough at all and be perfectly straight).

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