Todays blog post submission comes from Chris Trill of Design Corp, a visualisation company based in the UK. In this post he shares his way of quickly generating specular and bump maps, which he use’s to create believable materials.
Before we hear from Chris, lets have a look at some of his 3ds Max recent work to see just how well this technique works in day-to-day production. Chris has over 15 years experience as a designer, with a broad range of clients, from micro organisations to some of the most well known international brands.
(Click the below images to enlarge.)
All you do is add 2 colour correction nodes and plug your diff map into each one, drag the saturation down to -100 (so it’s Black & White) and then tweak the brightness and contrast settings. Hey presto, simple spec and bump mapping. To describe this process in more detail, Chris has supplied a step by step guide showing the simple process:
1: “Shows an standard A&D mat with the diff map plugged in. This is your starting point. (As before, click to enlarge.)
2: Shows the colour correction settings for spec – the nice thing is that you can just tweak the brightness and contrast sliders and watch the preview update. I plug the same map into bump as the settings have no effect on it
3: Shows another colour correction map used for displacement – no preview window feedback for that one but you can add a displacement modifier to a sample mesh, plug the colour correction map into the ‘map’ slot and get a rough idea of what the brightness and contrast settings are doing” Says Chris.
Chris goes on to say, “One other thing that I sometimes do is to clone the diffuse node and adjust the blur setting to soften the spec and bump maps. As I said this doesn’t replace proper mat setups for close-up work, but for stuff where you just need a quick representation it can be a real time saver”
Thanks to Chris for supplying this quicktip. As a reminder, you can supply any of your tips via the below link. This is permanently displayed in the left column of this blog.