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Bump Mapping has been around for a very long time, more than likely was around since before half-life 2 was released and has ...

Posted by ~Mapster(WFc) on Jun 24th, 2009

Firstly i would like to say that i am not saying this is a new feature or saying that this feature is going to be better than any other game or mod, all I am going to state is that it is going to be implemented into the mod and show how it will change.

Bump Mapping has been around for a very long time, more than likely was around since before half-life 2 was released and has been used in small parts of the game just to give it that little extra feeling of realism when it comes to npcs, props and so on; but wasn't used on many textures at all. This may be because valve didn't want to make a normal texture for EVERY texture that was made, or because the computers at the time weren't able to handle it ( yeah right ).

For those that don't know what bump mapping is. It's a little feature that changes how a texture will react to shading giving it a bump surface much like displacement mapping, only bump mapping will not change the physical shape of the texture but change the shading on it which cal make something concrete look like sand or dirt look like metal.

Here's an example of a texture without bump mapping and the same texture using bump mapping to add a bit of depth to it instead of it just being a flat and boring texture.

Click on the image to enlarge

Although this is a small change, it can change the game dramatically and almost make it look like another game as valve didn't use it enough to be that noticeable; but they didn't have to use it all over the place to make such an awesome game. Bump mapping is only really good on plain textures, things that NEED bump mapping in order to make it look like it's not completely finished and to give it that little bit of polishing to make it look better for the eyes.

Isn't this Parallax Mapping? You must be asking yourself. well no, they are 2 different features where bump mapping changes the shading of the texture and Parallax mapping changes the depth of the texture by displacing the texture coordinates at a point on the rendered polygon by a function of the view angle in tangent space.

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Noodles22 Jun 25 2009, 3:30am says:

nice feauture :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Daystranger Jun 25 2009, 3:41am says:
Why writing a generic article like this?

0 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Jun 25 2009, 7:16am replied:

the example there is way better then this one, as I don't see any real differences with this example..

the text is easier to read then wikipedia garbage though :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
~Mapster(WFc) Author
~Mapster(WFc) Jun 25 2009, 8:35am replied:

Click on the picture and it will enlarge.

+1 vote   reply to comment
DuckSauce Jun 25 2009, 12:00pm replied:

ah that's better, still with the bright light on it it's not as clear as the one from wikipedia.

Btw watching an episode from Leetworld today I noticed on one of the counter strike terrorists head thing looked kinda like that, does that have bump mapping? Might be a nicer example if so, just suggesting ^^

+1 vote     reply to comment
~Mapster(WFc) Author
~Mapster(WFc) Jun 25 2009, 8:31am replied:

This is an article for dev bump mapping for than bump mapping all around.

+1 vote   reply to comment
wilsonC Jun 25 2009, 3:46am says:

The reason why Valve didn't use a whole ton of bump maps was to save memory, and photoshop generated bump maps don't look that good, so it takes time and effort to make a decent one.

The bump map is a separate texture, so having bump maps for every diffuse texture means twice as much memory is used. And without specular or phong, the bump maps aren't really that noticeable unless you make them really strong, but then it starts looking all plastic-y like Doom 3.

Sorry if I sound like an ***, I'm just trying to share the other side of the story :P

+8 votes     reply to comment
ExecutorTassadar Jun 25 2009, 3:59am replied:

Well, performance of current mid-range PCs is more than sufficient for bumpmaps in Source. So yeah, you're right. Valve had reason not to do it, but why not do it now? ;)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ratchet66 Jun 25 2009, 6:09am replied:

I've worked with bumpmaps on weapon reskins and you can have the bumpmap on the alpha channel of the texture so it's a single texture.Also there is an nVidia plugin for Photoshop to easily make bumpmaps.

+1 vote     reply to comment
AlCool Jun 25 2009, 6:22pm replied:

Even if our PCs could handle it the source engine cannot.

0 votes     reply to comment
spartan117ak Jun 25 2009, 8:30pm replied:


Are you saying source could not handle every texture bumped maped?

I hope not, because that has been disproved on several counts, even the old engine.

+1 vote     reply to comment
MrtwovideoCards Jun 25 2009, 10:07pm replied:

Bumpmaps still hit the fill-rate hard, Very hard.

+1 vote     reply to comment
~Mapster(WFc) Author
~Mapster(WFc) Jun 25 2009, 8:35am replied:

Completely agree.

+1 vote   reply to comment
wilsonC Jun 25 2009, 4:11am says:

Well, to make a decent bump map you have to make a high poly model, then make a normal map out of that. The bump maps used in HL2 were done mostly at the last minute with photoshop filters, and they don't really look that great, and for most textures they didn't even bother, no bump map is better than a bad bump map.

+1 vote     reply to comment
DaveW Jun 25 2009, 5:27am replied:

Normal maps from models are usually done from high poly, but for world textures they're usually run through something like CrazyBump - possibly with a hand-generated height map. Only for SciFi textures are high poly models used.

+2 votes     reply to comment
xscottx019 Jun 25 2009, 6:31am says:

Why bump mapping, when you can have paralax mapping :D

-1 votes     reply to comment
~Mapster(WFc) Author
~Mapster(WFc) Jun 25 2009, 8:33am replied:

Parralax mapping is a difficult feature to use and set-up, besides i have already tried it and it didn't fit in with the mod.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Jesternz08 Jun 25 2009, 7:30am says:

Interesting stuff, didnt notice a difference at first, but after looking closer, I see :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
~Mapster(WFc) Author
~Mapster(WFc) Jun 25 2009, 8:34am replied:

Click on the picture and it will enlarge making it easier to see.

0 votes   reply to comment
Ganners Jun 25 2009, 7:46am says:

Look like the same image to me, I definitly wouldve gone for a better example than that.

Parallax mapping does seem to be improving, and programming wise I do believe it is the most simple solution. I just wonder when we will start seeing bump maps which change the silhouette.

+1 vote     reply to comment
~Mapster(WFc) Author
~Mapster(WFc) Jun 25 2009, 8:40am replied:

I can't fit the entire image into the news post, so i had to make a smaller image and link it to the full picture so if you click on it, it will enlarge.

+1 vote   reply to comment
z33ky Jun 25 2009, 9:30am replied:

cone step mapping > parallax mapping

Also, bump mapping was used way before Half-Life 2. I remember Blood Rayne (2002) having sleek ones.

+1 vote     reply to comment
~Mapster(WFc) Author
~Mapster(WFc) Jun 25 2009, 1:11pm replied:

Of course it is. I never said half-lfie 2 was the first mod to have it.

0 votes   reply to comment
Whizzard Jun 25 2009, 4:19pm replied:

Half-life 2 is a mod??? XD

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ganners Jun 25 2009, 11:02am says:

Halo: Combat evolved had bump mapping at the end of 2001.

Cone step mapping is very nice, such a complex algorithm but it is most effective. Its results are similar to relief mapping but it looks far better on the larger steps.

I don't think its been implemented into any games yet though. And this technology has been around for about 5 years now.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ausbushman Jun 25 2009, 11:36am says:

Pffft, my grandma has bump maps.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Arxae Jun 25 2009, 12:36pm replied:

haha yeah :)
bump maps are old, normal maps are getting old to
its all about parallax mapping, but yeah, not verry fun to use >_>
but still, normal mapping > bump mapping :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
TheHappyFriar Jun 25 2009, 12:44pm says:

i think you could of used a better example as that one is hard to tell, and the obvious question is "why not put that in the diffuse map?" maybe something like this (more dramatic in difference):

the hardest thing for me about bump/normal maps is NOT putting details in the diffuse. it's a hard habbit to break!

good example of bump + parallax: (skulls are flat textures!)

But a good little summation of bump maps!

+1 vote     reply to comment
~Mapster(WFc) Author
~Mapster(WFc) Jun 25 2009, 1:10pm replied:

This isn't an example of bump maps IN GENERAL. Just putting bump maps into this mod

+1 vote   reply to comment
Rigelblast Jun 25 2009, 4:03pm says:

Very interesting and nice article. I like the way how bump mapping is explained in it - briefly and to the point. The picture is really good, too. Also that little comparison with parallax mapping in the end of the article is great.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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