Bump Mapping, what is it for?

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Bump Maps in 3D are pretty important.  They add detail to an object that will take a lot of time to sculpt.  In other words, bump mapping adds texture to texture.  As a result, you can use the Bump Map feature in your surfaces tab in DAZ Studio 4 to control how rough and smooth a texture can be.  A bump map accomplishes this by creating highlights and shadows.  It doesn't actually change the surface of the material.

First of all, DAZ Studio and Poser treat bump mapping differently.  DAZ Studio starts out with 50% neutral gray (R 128 G 128 B 128).  Blacker colors are treated as negative or "down" and whiter colors are treated as positive or "up."   In Poser, true Black (0-0-0) is treated as the norm, and everything is "up" from there.  So working with material settings for items designed for Poser, you should set your negative mapping to 0 in your Bump surfaces tab.

If this is not done, you have slick surfaces. Note though that Bump Mapping gives the *appearance* of raised surfaces. for surfaces with actual texture, you need to take a look at Displacement mapping on your DAZ Studio surfaces tab.

Until then, experiment with your Bump surfaces to see how they can improve your renders.  For instance, DAZ Elite textures for the Elite series typically have their bump mapping set at 120%.  I typically use Elite bump maps for my characters when I'm working with them using the Human Surface Shader by Omnifreaker (and consequently bought by DAZ as an original).   By playing with your negative and positive settings, however, you can produce rougher textures.  With Poser skin materials, you have to typically set your negative at 0 mm, and your positive at .2 mm to get the same results.

So, experiment and have fun.

Next: There is a tutorial on Deviant Art that shows you how to use Displacement Maps in DAZ Studio.  So we will work with Ambient Lighting next using Arki's Ardith and Aryn as examples.  Pretty soon, we'll get into lighting -- and I'll have JamminWolfie comment on that when he has time.
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WolfKroger74's avatar
Very informative, thank you for posting!!