Photoshop 3D – Understanding Depth Maps, Bump Maps, and Normal Maps

Photoshop 3D – Understanding Depth Maps, Bump Maps, and Normal Maps

Photoshop 3D – Understanding Depth Maps, BumpMaps and Normal Maps Welcome back to another very exciting tutorialhere at the PhotoshopTrainingChannel.


My name is Jesus Ramirez and you can findme on Instagram @JRfromPTC.

In this tutorial, I'm going to show you howto work with Bump Maps, Normal Maps and Depth Maps in Photoshop.

This is going to be a Photoshop 3D tutorial.

And even though we're going to discuss advancedand complex topics, I'll try to keep things as simple as possible.

Also, remember that you can always pause andrewind the video in case you miss something.

The project that we're going to work on iscreating a realistic brick wall in 3D.

We'll ultimately end up using a depth map,which allows us to create 3D geometry from a flat 2D image using its luminance values.

But we'll also discuss Bump Maps and NormalMaps which help fake depth and detail in a 3D object.

Okay, let's get started.

So this is the image that we're going to workwith.

It's just a wall.

This is an Adobe stock image.

I have a link to it right below this videoor you can use any other image of a wall that you like.

Now before we go any further, I do want topoint out that if you're working in Photoshop CC and you don't see the 3D Menu that is becauseyour computer probably does not have the minimum requirements for 3D in Photoshop.

So, I just want to point that out in caseyou don't see the 3D button in your installation of Photoshop.

If you want to know what the minimum requirementsare, you can search for "Photoshop CC minimum requirements" on Google and you'll see a pagefrom Adobe, and I'll link to that right below this video.

So, we have this image of this brick walland in Photoshop, we can turn this into a 3D shape, so I'm going to click on this layer,then go into the 3D panel.

If you don't see the 3D panel you can justclick on the workspace and select 3D.

In the 3D Panel, I can select the Source asSelected Layer(s) and I'm going to select 3D Postcard and click on Create.

This is going to make this wall into a 3Dobject.

Notice that my Move Tool is selected and withthe Move Tool selected, I can see the 3D widgets here at the bottom left and in the Optionsbar.

If I click away to, say, the Rectangular MarqueeTool, you'll see that those go away.

So for you to see the 3D options you needto be in the Move Tool and you can rotate around your 3D scene with this little widgethere on the bottom left.

This is what I like to use, the Orbit Tool,click and drag and you rotate around the 3D scene.

The Pan Tool moves it around and the Dolly,which zooms in and out.

So this is how I like to navigate throughmy 3D scene.

And you can see now that this wall is, infact, in 3D space.

You will also notice that there is no shapeto it.

There's no depth and that is because thisis the equivalent of printing out a photo of a wall and pasting it on another wall,essentially wallpaper, is what we just did.

There's no depth and light is not interactingwith it.

It's not creating shadows, so in certain anglesit won't look very realistic.

You might be able to get it realistic in acertain angle, but once you move into a more extreme angle, you'll notice that it's notvery realistic.

So what we're going to do in this tutorialis learn several techniques to try to make this into a more realistic brick wall.

Also, generally speaking, Photoshop createsInfinite Lights when you create a 3D object.

In this case, it did not.

So, if you come into a 3D panel and you don'tsee anything labeled Infinite Light, you can create one by clicking on the Light icon andselecting New Infinite Light, and this creates the infinite light number one.

And with this widget here, you can click anddrag that light around and tell Photoshop where the light source is coming from.

Notice that the wall really does not interactwith the light in terms of creating shadows or highlights in the actual bricks.

So what we're going to do now is talk aboutseveral different things that you can do to create the illusion of realism.

So what I'm going to do now is revert theimage.

I'm going to press F12 on the keyboard oryou can also go into File, Revert, which brings the image back to your last safe point orto what it looked like when it was first opened.

So once again I just have the layer.

I'm going to duplicate this layer by pressingCtrl J, Command J on the Mac, so now I have a wall and a wall copy.

In Photoshop, you can apply 3D filters andthese filters allow you to generate a bump map and a normal map.

I'm going to click on bump map first and thisis going to open up the Generate Bump Map dialogue box here.

And you can see a 3D Preview of what thisbump map is going to do.

It's going to fake depth in 3D.

It's not really going to alter the shape ofthe 3D object.

You can see the circle is still fairly smooth.

There are no real edges, grooves and bumps.

It's just faking that effect.

And the way the bump map works is by takingthe luminance values of the original image and even if it's white, it's going to createthe illusion of pushing out.

Anything that is black is going to createthe illusion of pushing in and the controls that you have are the Blur.

If you set the Blur to zero, you'll see thatyou'll get a lot of noise on the image, that's because all the dark pixels and bright pixelsare creating the illusion of pushing the pixels in and out on the 3D object.

So you usually want to have a little bit ofblur so that you get rid of those details and you'll only keep the major details, andyou can adjust the low, medium and high by clicking and dragging on these icons and you'llsee how that changes and how it updates or you can click and drag on the label or youcan just come in here and type a number in.

And you can adjust the detailed scale if youwant to and any adjustment that you make automatically previews not only in the 3D model here, butalso in the background, which is really what we're going to use.

And you can select different types of objectslike, maybe, a cube.

Since this is going to be a wall, we can geta better representation of what it's going to look like.

And notice that if we go on an extreme angle,we can still tell that it's a flat image, but at least it's interacting with the lightso it's going to help it look a little more realistic.

Now I'm going to press Cancel because thisis not how we're going to create the bump map.

I just wanted to show you that this is anoption.

I'm going to press Cancel and what I'm goingto do now is go into the Layers Panel, make sure the wall copy is selected and the 3DPanel, I'm just going to create another 3D Postcard and click on Create and there itis, once again, in 3D space.

And so that things don't get confusing, I'mgoing to go into the Layers panel and disable the wall–the original wall layer.

So, now, we're only looking at the 3D object.

And what I want to do is double click on the3D wall object.

And once again, I don't have an infinite lightso I'm going to create one new infinite light.

There it is.

You can click and drag on it as you can see.

And I'm going to go into the wall copy mesh,open it up, click on wall copy and for some reason, Photoshop creates an Opacity texture.

I'm not sure why but I'm just going to removeit since we don't need it.

It just makes things more complicated, so,now, the opacity texture is now gone.

We have this Bump Map slider here with a folderright next to it.

If we click on the folder, we can GenerateBump Map from Diffuse.

The Diffuse is right up here.

Diffuse is really the color of the 3D objector it could be an image that you'll wrap around it.

In this case, the wall is the image that we'rewrapping around.

So, I'm going to generate my bump from thediffuse.

Click on that, and once again, Photoshop willbring up the Generate Bump Map dialogue box and we can make adjustments as we did before.

Something I didn't mention earlier is thatyou have this check box here to invert the height, but anyway, I'm going to decreasethe Lows and increase the Highs, I think the blur is okay, and this should work, at least,for this example so I'm going to press OK.

And you'll now notice a little bit of a difference.

If I increase the bump, you'll see how thewall looks like it's sticking out more.

Also, if I select the Infinite Light, I canclick and move it around and notice how, now, the light is interacting with the shape ofthe wall, so it looks a little bit more realistic than it did before.

You can also click on the rectangular MarqueeTool, click and drag a selection, just a small selection, so that we could render this section.

The Render button is here.

You can also go into 3D, Render 3D Layer,or you can use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Shift+Ctrl+R and once you do that, Photoshop will startrendering this section.

And Rendering means that Photoshop is goingto calculate the light, the bump, the diffuse, shadows and everything else in your sceneto make it a final image.

And, obviously, the Render time depends onthe speed of your computer and the complexity of your scene, and this could take a while.

Notice that just for this selection, my computeris going to take roughly three minutes to complete.

You can press the Esc key and this is a representationof what the entire image is going to look like.

What I want to do now is bring down the intensityof the Light and the Properties panel.

I have the Infinite Light selected so I canclick and drag the infinite light down a little bit so that it's not so bright.

And I can do another quick render by makinga selection with the Rectangular Marquee Tool and clicking on the Render button.

But, anyway, for this example, this is goingto be okay and now you can see how we created a wall that is slightly more realistic thanjust having it flat on the 3D Postcard.

So I'm going to go back into the Layers Paneland I'm just going to delete this layer.

I'm going to show you now a different technique.

So with the original wall layer selected,I'm going to press Ctrl J, Command J on the Mac.

Now we have a second copy and we'll do thesame thing.

We'll go into 3D, 3D from Postcard, and clickon Create.

Now we're going to talk about the second filterin the 3D Menu here and the reason we can't see it is because we need a pixel layer selected,so Filter, 3D, Normal Map.

We're not going to click on it here but Ijust wanted to show you that this was also available in the Filters and I'm going togo back into the 3D layer.

So, I'm going to double click on the 3D Layerfrom the layers panel, now I'm inside of the 3D panel and I have the wall copy mesh andthe wall copy material, so I'm clicking on the wall copy material.

You'll notice the Properties panel gives usthe materials.

And I'll delete the Opacity Texture once againbecause we don't need it.

We don't have an Infinite Light so I'll createan infinite light, so now I can adjust the lighting, maybe bring it down a little bitsince I already know that's a little too bright.

And from the wall copy mesh or from the wallcopy material, rather, I can now create a normal map.

So, I'm going to Generate Normal from Diffuse.

Normal works a lot like bumps; the differenceis that Bump Maps create luminosity to create the illusion of depth.

Normal Maps use the 3 RGB channels to createthe illusion of depth.

So you can think of Bump Maps as only havingup and down and Normal Maps as having up, down, left and right.

And the dialogue box looks a lot like theBump Map dialogue box.

But if you'll notice in the background, theimage looks a lot different, but the way we create it is very similar.

So I'm just going to just make a few quickadjustments.

We don't need to spend a lot of time on thatsince you know how this work; they work the same.

Once we press OK, Photoshop applies that NormalMap.

If I go into the Infinite Light, you can seehow it interacts with that Normal Map and it's actually a little bit better than thelast one, than the Bump Map, because the Normal Map, as I mentioned, gives you left, right,up and down, so if I go back into the wall copy material, I can go into the Normal andedit the texture, and this is what that looks like.

If you open this up and it looks black, itmight be because your UV Overlay is active and you may have a lot of UVs so make surethat you disable the UVs in case you can't see the Normal Map, and this is what the NormalMap looks like.

Notice that in the Channels panel, you havethe Red, Green and Blue channel.

Notice how they're all very different andthat is because Photoshop is using each individual channel to create the illusion of depth indifferent ways.

So, the final result looks like that.

Obviously this is a little bit harder to editthan working simply with luminance values.

So, now, what I can do is I can also placethis into position and I'll disable the original wall here in the background in the Layerspanel, just so this doesn't confuse us and I can come back, select that Rectangular MarqueeTool, make a selection and click on Render and see what that Render would look like.

I'm going to press the Escape key just becauseI know it's going to look okay.

And as I mentioned before, with the InfiniteLight and pressing the V key in the keyboard, we get all our 3D tools and I can continueto move this around and you see how the light interacts with the wall.

Now, even though this is a little bit betterthan the Bump Map, it still has the same problem which is at an extreme angle, you know thatthis is a flat image and even though the light interacts with it, there's just no way aroundthat.

We're dealing with a flat image.

Luckily, for us and Photoshop, there's anotherway in which we can literally create depth out of an image.

So let's take a look at that.

I'm going to go back into the Layers paneland this time I'm just going to delete the wall copy and just work with the originalwall layer.

And what I'm going to do is I'm going to duplicateit, Ctrl J, Command J on the Mac, then I'm going to go into Filter, 3D, Generate BumpMap, and we're going to use the luminance values to generate a 3D object, and I'm justgoing to leave it with these settings for now.

I'm just going to press OK.

And what I want to do is go into Image, AdjustmentLevels, and I'm going to make the darks darker and I don't really want to make the whiteswhiter.

I don't want pure white, so I'm okay havingan off white color.

I just need a little more contrast and pressOK.

So this is going to work a lot like a BumpMap where black pushes pixels in and white pushes pixels out.

So I want the separation in-between the bricksto be darker and the bricks to be brighter, so I'm going to come in, select the Burn Tool,and I'm quickly going to just start burning in-between those bricks.

Make sure that your Range is set to Shadow.

Exposure is fine at 50%.

And I just want to make sure that there'sno bright areas in-between the bricks.

I'm going to go a little faster than I normallywould just for the sake of saving time, but I think you'll get the idea and once you seethe results, you might want to spend a little more time on your image.

And I'm not using a Wacom tablet, but a Wacomtablet will probably be a little more accurate, so if you have one, I recommend using it.

To be frank with you, I would use it if Iwas actually working on a real project and not recording on a tutorial, but that's notto say you can't use the mouse if you don't have a Wacom tablet.

Okay, I think that will work, and also, youmight want to select the Dodge Tool and make sure that the bricks are not too dark.

And, again, for this example, I this willwork.

I don't have to spend too much time, so we'lljust work with this.

Remember, we have the wall copy selected andthat's what we've been working on and the regular layer is still there.

So in the 3D Panel, instead of 3D Postcard,what I'm going to choose now is Mesh from Depth Map.

In a Depth Map, as I said before, we'll pushin the dark pixels and we'll push out the bright pixels, and this is actually 3D geometry,so I can select Mesh from Depth Map.

Make sure that you have Plane selected andclick on Create.

And now you'll see this groovy-looking thinghere.

I'm going to go into the Layers Panel andjust disable the wall, just so it doesn't confuse us.

Back on the 3D Panel, I can click on DepthMap and you'll see that with the Move Tool selected, I have this 3D widget here.

And let me rotate the camera around so youcan see what we created.

This is what we created just now.

And I can come here and hover over the ScaleAlong Z axis cube is the blue one.

I can click and drag that to the left andnotice that if I come back far enough, now, it looks more like a real wall.

And I can come into the Orbit 3D Camera Tooland you'll see now that this is, in fact, 3D geometry.

We're no longer faking depth.

This is actual depth, so I can move that around,I can zoom in and I can do all sorts of things now.

So this is a more realistic wall and if Ipress M on the keyboard for the Marquee Tool, click and drag, hit the Render button andwe'll give it a few seconds to render, you'll see how this is a more realistic render.

And, obviously, if we work with the InfiniteLight, the shadows and highlights will affect the image.

Also, notice what happens on this extremelighting here.

Notice how now the shadows are even more realisticbecause this is real 3D geometry.

So, you can create some really cool effects,and you may be wondering how do we edit the colors and maybe add a more realistic texture.

Well, we'll do that next.

But, first, again, Photoshop creates thisopacity texture that I don't like so I'm going to remove it.

It just makes things more complicated whenwe start applying different effects, but what you really want to do to apply a texture ontothis wall is going to the Diffuse.

Notice that we already have a texture here,so I'm going to go into Edit Texture.

That's going to open up in a new tab and thisis essentially the Bump Map.

It's using two instances of the same thing.

If we edit this, it will not affect the depthmap.

If you do want to affect the depth map, yougot to go into the Depth Map layer and click on Edit Source, and it's going to open upan image that looks just like this.

But if you edit that second image, it willaffect the 3D geometry; the diffused texture will not.

Anyway, so now we're in the Layers Panel,I can come back into the bricks.

Psd that I'm working on, enable that wall background, click.

Drag it over to the wall copy tab–I'm stillholding–and I'm going to hold Shift when I release, so it places it in place.

So notice how it matches perfectly.

I can press Ctrl S, Command S on the Mac,to save, go back into the brick.

Psd, and notice how, now, it applied that texture onto mybrick wall.

Let me disable the original wall image sowe're only looking at the 3D model.

And, again, this is the 3D model with depth,and I can adjust the depth if I want to by clicking on the 3D model and using the 3Dwidget, just scale on this D axis; so see how that works and you can adjust the depthaccordingly, of course.

Another thing that you can do is go back intothe 3D Layer.

On the wall copy, we can edit the Diffuseagain, but we already have it open on this tab, so I'm going to open up this tab andI'm going to create a new layer because, now, we can work on this texture like we can withany other Photoshop document.

That means that we can paint on it if we wantto, so let me just quickly paint something here.

I'll just paint 'PTC' on here and I can even,maybe, create a Shape layer here and maybe fill it with green just so you could see thedifference and maybe even increase the stroke, something like that.

And to make it a little more realistic, I'mgoing to double click on the side of the layer here and bring up the Layer Style window andadjust the underlying layer Blend If just to make it more realistic.

Notice that if I hold Alt, Option on the Mac,click in the Center, it splits those in half and it creates a more gradual transition.

What I'm doing here is hiding anything thatis darker than this shade of gray.

So if it's this shade of gray or darker, itbecomes invisible.

If it's in-between this shade of gray andthis shade of gray, then there's a gradual transition.

And if it's between this shade of gray andwhite, then it's 100% visible, so notice what happens when I click and drag on these sliders.

I'm going to press OK and I'll do the samething on this Shape layer.

Split those by holding Alt, Option on theMac, and click and drag just so that they interact better with your background.

And on this one, maybe I'll even bring theopacity down.

It might be too bright for the effect thatI'm going for, and maybe bring the opacity down on PTC as well, maybe something likethat.

You don't need to spend too much time withthis.

I just want to show you how this will work.

I'm going to press Ctrl S, Command S, to save,go back on to the brick wall and you'll see that, now, those graphics are applied to thewall and, obviously, they look very realistic because they're applied to the 3D geometryand I'm just going to do a quick render here so you could see how they look.

In my opinion, this is a little too bright,so what I might do is maybe work on the Infinite Light, maybe even reduce the lighting a littlebit, and maybe even rotate it into a different way just to create something more interestingand obviously, for the background here, I could do a sky.

And the way that you can create a sky is bymaybe creating a gradient and just selecting white and blue, which I already have selected,but if click on this top one, notice that the opacity is set to zero, so let me bumpthat up to 100 and maybe select a different kind of blue that may look a little more realistic,so, something like that.

Obviously, you can spend a lot more time ormaybe even use a stock photo.

And I wasn't planning on doing this, but Ijust said it, using a stock photo of a sky here that I've used, so let me use that andyou'll see how that works.

And this is one of the reasons why I likeAdobe Stock in the Creative Cloud.

I just have all these assets that I can usefor all types of designs.

But, anyway, this is just something that youcan do to create realistic effects and really cool designs using Photoshop 3D and, I guess,stock images and, of course, our final step now will be just to render the image by selectingthe 3D wall copy and clicking on the Render button.

Once you're making your final render, youdon't have to make a small selection.

You can just simply click on the Render buttonand let it render for as long as it needs to.

And one very important thing to note is thateven though in this tutorial we used the Depth Map to complete our project, it doesn't meanthat Bump Maps or Normal Maps are not as good.

They definitely have their place in 3D andin a lot of cases, they are the better tool for the job.

Also, you can apply a Bump Map or Normal Mapto this Depth Map to create an even more realistic 3D image.

In case you're curious, this is what my finalrender looks like.

I also quickly want to show you another imagecreated using a Depth Map.

This mountain was created using a similartechnique as the 3D brick wall that we just created.

As you can see, there's a lot of applicationsfor this method of creating 3D geometry.

And that's it for this tutorial.

I hope that you enjoyed it and that you learnedsomething new.

Make sure that you leave all your commentsor questions down below.

If you create an image using this tutorialor any other of my tutorials, feel free to share it on Instagram with the hashtag #PTCVids.

I often do a search for this hashtag to seewhat you're all up to.

Also, don't forget to subscribe and clickon that Like button.

If you have a friend who you think might enjoythis tutorial, please share this link with them now.

Thank you for watching and I'll talk to youagain soon.

Source: Youtube