Bump Maps ?

Discussion in 'Design and Modeling' started by Rabies, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Rabies
    Rabies New Member
    I've searched the forum and FAQ and not seen this topic addressed. I also got no answer via email, so I'm posting here:

    1. I come from a video game art background, so I'm used to modelling things in flat polygons ("faceted") and the renderer, both in 3DS Max and in our game engines makes it all look smooth and rounded automatically. What I want to know is, if Shapeways service would end up printing the model all faceted looking? Is there a way to make something look "rounded" without re-modelling it?

    2. We also create a lot of detail using bump maps instead of geometry. Does the 3D printing take into account bump mapping or is it strictly limited to the 3D geometry?

  2. Eeppium
    Eeppium New Member
    The 3d object prints out as it is modelled.
    the textures does not affect the printing process.
    however, you can choose your object to be printed in Full Color Sandstone material. http://www.shapeways.com/materials/fullcolor

    a simple way to make a game character look more smoother, is to add a subdivision surface to it. but it probably messes up the uv layout.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  3. virtox
    virtox Active Member Moderator

    1. Shapeways prints the models "faceted". Although the current previews on the site show smoothing, this has no effect on the printing. (they are still improving the previews)
    To obtain smooth objects this has to be defined at the polygon level.
    If the facets are small enough, the object will be smooth.

    In 3ds max you could use the turbosmooth or meshsmooth modifiers (selectively if needed) for this.
    Watch the polygon count thoug, the limit for shapeways is 500.000 polygons I believe.

    2. Strictly limited to 3d geometry, So bumpmaps will have no effect on printing. Depending on the detail in the bumpmap,. you could try using a displacement modifier in max.

    Make sure all modifiers are active or collapsed before you export for upload.

    I recommend downloading meshlab, as this will give you a good idea of what the exported object really looks like.

    The only maps supported by shapeways, are color texture maps for certain filetypes.

    Kind regards,


  4. Rabies
    Rabies New Member
    Thanks for the tips.
  5. Schaeffer
    Schaeffer New Member

    I don't know what software you are using (guessing max or maya if you are in the gaming industry? (jealous ;) ) but here might be an idea apart from learning modelling more high poly as opposed to "fakery" (not at all meant derogatory but no other word comes to mind atm. tbh an artform in of itself trying to get high poly looks but keeping it so it can be used in a realtime engine.) since only actual geometry is used in print.

    I haven't used it myself though but you might want to try subd displacement in max 2010 (don't know in what version it got introduced) . it's kinda like a bump map but it displaces the actual geometry but unlike normal displacement maps it also uses subdivision to make it all nicer and more detailed than normal displacement maps and if im not mistaken you can when you are done collapse it to an editable poly again to make it permanent geometry (as opposed to modifier or render effect (bump) which wont be saved to print.)

    I'm also new to Shapeways btw but thought I'd start sharing what I learned so far :)
    Maybe my topic http://www.shapeways.com/forum/index.php?t=msg&th=2316&a mp;a mp;start=0&S=655d5fa4045e9c9398d4a47f0cc2ca8f will help too.
    Print is also a bit more lenient in some respects it seems as opposed to making a mesh for animation or subdivision/modifiers.

    Sorry if some sentences are a bit of a mess, I'm having a bit of a headache at the moment of writing.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010