Is there a Photoshop action to create bump, normal and reflection maps for rendering software?
Does anyone know of a Photoshop action, or set of actions to produce a defuse, bump, normal and reflection map for use in 3d rendering software?
It seems like quite a simple thing and I have searched google but couldn't seem to find one. I'd be realy surprised if one didn't exist.
If what you looking for is pseudo maps, look at
this tutorial Video from 2012 has since be taken down, click for a generic video search on YouTube on the same topic. You can record the steps and save them into an action for use later. However, this technique only works ok with some objects (such as a wooden plank etc).
As these map types have very different purposes and require very different details in them to work properly on a 3D object, you will not be able to generalize the process of producing such maps. They need to be either created within the modeller tool, or you need expensive equipment such as a 3D laser scanner to record bumps and texture of a real object.
If we look at the types of maps and what they do it should become obvious:
A diffuse map is basically the texture you are applying to the object - the color information. You can export that from PS in a common file format and use it as-is, or export a UV map as an image from your modeller tool and apply image/color to that in PS.
A bump map is used in 3D software to describe displacement and relates to 3D shape and not the color information. Black (0) is no displacement for the point it represent, while white (value 255) is full displacement of whatever setting is used in the 3d software.
A normal map is related to a bump map, but instead of displacing points/polygons, it will add lights and shadows in the texture to make it appear as if there where bumps.
Reflection map is used to "reflect" environment and would normally be something entire different than the texture of the object you render. Reflection maps are used to enhance the reflectivity property of an object and is used instead of ray-tracing "real" reflections in order to be able to render and to setup a scene faster.