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Bump mapping

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Just to check if I've understood bump mapping properly, is this statement correct: If a flat surface is rendered with bump mapping, and the surface is looked at from an angle close to 90 degrees from it's normal, the bump mapped surface will look just as flat as a surface rendered without bump mapping. Bump mapping applied to a flat surface looks best when viewed at small angles from the normal, and when the desired extra depth illusion is very small compared to the size of the plane and the vertex-based geometry.

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That's good for me to know as well. Not to entirely hijack this thread, what technique should be used for larger planes or larger angles? Normal mapping? I'm just wondering how to create a real sense of depth on simple, planar objects such as walls and ground (specifically, looking similar to Offset's ground (sorry for the bad image. it's all blurry, but you can kind of make it out over to the right)).

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Quote:
Original post by NickGravelyn
That's good for me to know as well. Not to entirely hijack this thread, what technique should be used for larger planes or larger angles? Normal mapping? I'm just wondering how to create a real sense of depth on simple, planar objects such as walls and ground (specifically, looking similar to Offset's ground (sorry for the bad image. it's all blurry, but you can kind of make it out over to the right)).


Though it still becomes flat at extreme angles, a more convincing (albeit expensive) method is 'parallax mapping'.

Here are a couple references
wiki article
pdf



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Guest Anonymous Poster
Parallax mapping or "virtual displacement mapping" makes things stick out of a plane surface. Not only shadows and highlights will be rendered but also offsets, like if something sticks out of the texture it will look different from different angles. But, fact still remains, that when you look at a parallax map at a 90 degree angle it will look flat and more wierd than the bump mapping.

A good example of the "wierdness" occurs is in FEAR. Try shooting at a corner on (not in) a building so that the big bullet hole decal is displayed. If you do it right only half the decal is displayed (the rest should be displayed in thin air but doesn't because the corner bends in a 90 degree angle). Walking around the corner with your eyes on the decal it will become obvious what I mean with "wierd".

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