Tips & Tricks: Realistic Bump Mapping

In a previous tip, we described how you can give your designs the “full effect” with HDR images. But that’s just one way you can enhance the appearance of your designs. Here’s another: Create textured finishes with bump mapping, such as the tire tread shown in the image below.

Here’s how it works:

To see high-quality and realistic reflections, click View > Shade with Reflections.

To create the appearance of rubber for the tire, follow these steps:

  1. Click Render > Appearance Gallery

  2. In the Library, use the pull down menu to select a material appearance as shown in the image below (adv-rubber.dmt).

  3. Then from the resulting palette, pick an appearance.

Selecting the material appearance for the tire.

Now, to add a texture map to the tire, follow these steps:

  1. Select theRender > Appearance Gallery

  2. Click Model > New. The Appearance Editor appears as in the image below.

  1. In the Map tab, in the bump area, use the pull down menu and select an Image.

  2. In the file explorer, select car exterior > tire tread, and click Open.

  3. Click OK to complete the dialog and assign the texture

  4. Select the surfaces where you want to add the tread pattern. Middle Mouse Button to confirm selection

  5. To edit the texture placement, Click Model > Edit. Use the color picker icon in the top left and choose the texture to edit

In the assembly you will see the model with the realistic bump mapping. If you select ViewShading with Reflections you see the model with the reflections.

You can see a demonstration of adding bump mapping in the video below. It also shows how to make adjustments such as changing the scale, mapping type, and height.  Watch to the end for one more tip for adding rough procedural bumps for a more interesting texture on the car body used in the demo.