View Full Version : Normal Map Filter Nvidia for Photoshop

04-06-2009, 02:50 AM

I recently intalled this free Plugin, but I have no idea the way to use it in Photoshop.

The blue pictures images it generates can be used for bumping in Photoshop, or it only works for external 3d programas like 3dsmax?.

In case it can be used for bumping in Photoshop, can someone show me that technique?, I suppose I can use the Channel (Combined with the Render/Lighting) technique with that, but I don't see the diference of using this generated map or anyone else.

Thanks in advance for your answers.

04-06-2009, 07:45 AM
I believe normal maps can only be used in 3d applications. I'm not sure whether or not Photoshop actually utilizes a normal map for creating 3d bumping. unless CS4 has added that feature, which I haven't gotten to yet.

04-06-2009, 08:20 AM
First, thanks for your answer.

My idea was creating dungeons from several textures bumped with it's corresponding map, the same way as if I worked with 3dsmax, so I'd have every different texture with its own bump map.

The only way of achieving this type of effect in Photoshop is bymeans the render/lighting and Belvel&Emboss?

These maps created in photoshop are only for use of third apps?

04-06-2009, 05:50 PM
I've fiddled around with this as well and saw that it was supposed to be used in CS3 and up and since mine was just CS I thought I was missing something. From what I understand of it, though, it's primary use would be in bump mapping via the lighting effects filter using a channel for height. I've seen some other stuff where the artist actually went and made a map but I never figured it out...my guess is that a gradient map was used.

04-06-2009, 06:47 PM
Hi kaahen,

The nVidia plug-in is primarily for video game development, as it allows artists to generate normal maps from existing diffuse maps (as opposed to generating them from hi-res 3D meshes using applications such as Maya or ZBrush). Normal maps use the RGB channels to represent/replace XYZ normal information on a 3D mesh (as opposed to bump maps, which are just single channel/grayscale), so they are effectively useless without some kind of concept of 3D space (and a lighting solution).

I don't know a huge amount about Photoshop (I'm mostly a 3D guy), although I do know CS4 Extended can import .obj's (and other 3D file formats) as a 3D Mesh. They do have what seem to be called 3D Materials, but I don't know if you need a 3D Mesh to use those materials. Those 3D Materials do seem to have a "slot" for a normal map, however, so my guess is that it's possible you can actually apply your normal map to those 3D meshes. I'm not sure, though, and I don't have CS4 Extended to try this out (sadly).

Here's a link to the 3D overview on the Adobe help:


Hope that helps!


04-07-2009, 02:16 AM
That was really clear for me.

Thanks a lot.