Asked • 10/03/19

What's the difference between bump, normal, and displacement maps in 3D?

Bump maps give the illusion the surface has depth using grayscale values to drive the map. Normal maps, on the other hand, are considered a newer and more widely used method of achieving a similar effect as bump. Normal maps, however, use RGB (Red, Green, Blue) to drive depth values but again do not change actual surface heights. Finally, displacement maps are used to displace surfaces using grayscale (scalar) or colors (vector displacement). Both displacement methods show a change in the actual surface that can be seen simply by looking at the silhouette of the asset.

1 Expert Answer


Michael H. answered • 10/22/19

New to Wyzant

U.S. Army Veteran Graphics Designer, Tutor.

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