Blog . Crazybump
For 3D Modelers, especially those in the world of game design, bump maps, normal maps, and ambient maps are very useful. They help provide that extra bit of detail to a model while keeping the model at a low resolution. Usually you would make a bump map or normal map by editing colors and values in Photoshop, but with Crazybump you can generate and edit multiple map types. Adding maps can give your project that little extra polish if you use them right.
When you first open Crazybump, it will ask if you want to open an Image, height map, or normal map.
You can use an image you find to generate all the maps, or you can edit existing maps and see the results in real time. When you choose your image, options will show up in the form of sliders.
Here you can tweak values of the map, like how much detail will be shown. You can also open up a second window that will preview your texture on a sphere, cone, cube, cylinder or model. See the texture on an actual 3D surface and watch it update in real time. The maps in the preview are fairly accurate to what you will see in the program if you watch the settings.
I used a picture of a wooden plank I took a while ago for a drawing texture, and put it in crazy bump. I exported the normal map to use for a bump map in 3DS Max, and applied the texture and the normal map to a simple plane.
The bump map effects the object and gives greater detail without having to model it.
Overall, I love Crazybump. The way you can edit the maps and view your changes in real time is efficient. Using Crazybump eliminates quite a few steps that would be needed in Photoshop. A preview of the model makes it so you don't have to go back and forth between programs. I think the 30 day demo version is well worth it. The price ranges from $49 dollars for the student license, $99 dollars for a personal use license, and $299 dollars for a professional license.