Thread: Types of Maps
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# 1 10-11-2009, 12:18 PM
Jordanpierreag's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 8

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.