Originally Posted by honestdom
not sure, but i think he was asking if you can bake normal maps in maya, not asking how to make a bump map.
Not according to his last response. He wants to bump map.
Originally Posted by Sircharles
but id like to make a bump map rather than a normal map, or is there a difference?
It's okay though I also thought he was interested in normal mapping at first. The problem is he used every word or phrase associated with every kind of "transfer map" in his original post because he does not know what any of them are so trying to figure out what he really wants is hard!
In any event I have already described both normal and bump maps and even linked to a free tutorial on normal mapping in this post so unless he changes his mind again and wants to do a displacement map (boj moi) he should be covered.
I guess I should take a second and describe the three primary kinds of maps that are used to represent depth.
BUMP: Only requires a grey scale 2D image where 50% grey is no displacement and < 50% grey will appear to be displaced inward and > 50% grey will appear to be displaced outward. Bump does not actually displace the geometry it is only a trick of light and shadow. For this reason bump maps are given away if you get to close to the surface or you view a surface in silhouette.
NORMAL: Uses a RGB image that represents the surface normals of an object. For normal mapping one usually starts with a high-poly mesh and a low-poly mesh and then generates a normal map of the high-poly mesh and bakes the normal map of the high-poly mesh onto the low-poly mesh. Like bump mapping this does not actually displace the geometry it is only a trick of light and shadow. Like bump mapping getting to close or seeing the object in silhouette will give normal mapping away.
DISPLACEMENT: Uses a grey scale map like bump mapping but in this case the geometry is actually displaced. Therefore you can see the displacement in silhouette and if you get close. This can create a large amount of geometry (and dirty geometry at that) and will increase render times significantly but can reduce modeling time and complexity.
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Sir Isaac Newton, 1675