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Open Source Normal Map Generator

400_ssbump_CUDASSbump is an open source normal map generator.

Pure_bordem wrote:

Seeing as a lot of people used Crazy Bump (myself included) but it went commercial some time ago, I tripped across this awesome open source software SSbump Generator. It can create normal maps, ambient occ maps as well as what appears to be a cross between them? Sounds like it was meant originally to create the normals for Source Engine but it most definitely can work with blender and the results are very very good. Check it out!

*PS* It also supports CUDA for any with a newer Nvidia card



  • Silence

    Are there any of such programs for mac or linux ?

  • Jack RED


  • hacku

    @Silence: For Mac there are NMG (but only PPC version) and NormalMappr, but both of them aren't very powerful…so I am looking for a good Mac tool too!

  • wayne

    windows only :(

  • knekke

    for linux i use the gimp normal-map plugin:

  • eye208

    GIMP's normal map plugin looks more powerful than this. And it's available for all platforms.

  • Artorp

    Yes, is there any features this one has that the Gimp plugin doesn't have?

  • Ujin-V

    Hey, there is a normal map generator node in blender texture nodes.

  • Tim, LA

    I use ShaderMap pro!!
    Annother alternative is the freexNormal!
    But both not for Linux!

  • Steve Cameron

    This is good, but I just use The Gimp plugin.. I used to use CrazyBump.. till my trial period ran out ;)

  • comeinandburn

    There is a stand alone app for mac that's not opensource but simple and free.

    It's called NMG

  • Grandmaster B

    Also very nice:
    Its 20 bucks for the GUI but is very powerful and has a good preview window. I use it at work and at home.

  • sid350

    No Linux version

  • Deloince jp

    Au premier regard SSbump Generator semble être une réel alternative à
    CrazyBump, la solution qui nous évite de formater l'ordinateur tout les
    30 jours pour avoir le droit de rejouer une énième foi!. Mais ne serait
    il pas astucieux qu'un generator avancé de bump ou normal map à partir
    de donné 3d ou 2d soit intégré dans blender dans l' éditeur de texture?!
    je m'interroge...
    - - -
    At first glance SSbump Generator seems to be a real alternative to
    CrazyBump the solution which avoids format the computer every 30 days
    for the right umpteenth replay of faith ". But would not it clever
    that generator advanced bump or normal map from given 2D or 3D is
    integrated into blender in the editor texture?!
    I wonder ...

  • Dennis F

    Does not run under vista 32 bit for me: Applicatione does not work anymore ... :(

  • pfannkuchen_gesicht

    this programm is a bit buggy.
    sometimes the SSBump looks good in the preview, but the saved file is completly blue

  • pixnlove

    But I thought we could create bumpmap in Blender?
    Oahh I am totally confused.

  • banor


  • Deloince jp


    "this programm is a bit buggy.
    sometimes the SSBump looks good in the preview, but the saved file is completly

    yes it is strange as a result, and rendering in preview window
    Not very spontaneous, you have to click each parameter change

  • Deloince jp

    pixnlove, oh yes I agree to such a change

    "But would not it clever that generator advanced bump or normal map
    from given 2D or 3D is integrated into blender in the editor texture?!
    I wonder …"

  • Sean

    Xnormal is windows only, but the next version, 4.0 is going to have a new UI and be cross plaform

  • Pure_bordem

    Was just something I tripped across, i got awesome results with it personally...



    I personally like the layer style for making the normals, so details dont pop too much while the bigger parts do, but to each their own

  • Papasmurf

    for a cross-platform normal map generator, that also makes AO maps, I use Blender It runs on all platforms. Use your image to displace a fine mesh, apply the modifier, then bake.

  • CorsairX

    @Papasmurf: If the only tool you use is a hammer, every problem starts looking like a nail.....

  • KillerT

    Sorry, but the handling from SSbump is very bad!!
    Using it is a vaste of time!
    I prefer Shadermap pro! It is very good for all maps (Normal, Displacement, Spec, AO etc.)!!

  • sbn

    Papasmurf, for "flat" grayscale > RGB normal, you don't need to subdiv your mesh in Blender. Just put your grayscale displacement image on an unwrapped plane in the normal channel (W/O RGB normal enabled in texture buttons), adjust strength in material, make another image to bake to, and bake normal / tangent.

    Won't work for AO, I think, but for normals that's quite a lot faster.

    I'm on a Mac and have done it this way for some time since I dislike NMG.

  • Stugys works fine in linux with wine emulator

  • The Happy Friar

    i like the gimp plugin better (or crazybump), or insanebump for gimp. This app seems to work best for Source games, doesn't work as well in other games I've tried. No clue why.

  • Papasmurf

    @sbn: Nice tip on the normal map shortcut. Blender calculates AO based on mesh geometry, so to get an AO map from Blender you need a physically deformed mesh to bake.
    @Corsair, I use more tools than just Blender, I was just saying that Blender can also do at least these two maps as well. And, I mentored a very nice wiki author who rewrote that section because the feature was so popular but deserved better doco. However, if SSbump does it better or easier, by all means add it to your toolbox. If it doesn't, then there's really no sense in learning yet another specialized tool when the hammer you have does the job just fine.

  • mzungu

    Does anyone know if a normal map can be converted to a depth map (greyscale gradient from white close up to black far away) easily?

    I want to take pictures of a person's face, make a normal map from them (using this method:, then convert that to a depth map to feed into a photo-to-CNC (gcode) application that will allow me to machine that face into a block of wood (or something similar) with a CNC Mill.

    I've done this with blender-generated depth maps (of a 3D CAD model) which came out rather nicely. Would love to be able to do this with people's faces (or other real-world objects that can be photographed.)


  • Rorkimaru

    Why use this over Gimp's plugin?

  • Sergio Frias

    Please,have a try at pixplant plugin for photoshop, as good as crazybump ;)...please tell witch you find the best.

  • Astapov

    As mentioned by Sean,

    Try X Normal as well.

    Great solid production ready app. Lots of features. Works on even the lowest of systems(Just have to be patient :)). Also from my experience it works with denser meshes than max.


    Well, I purchased CrazyBump when it went commercial and I really like it.

    For SSbump, I can't even download it :o(( all download links seems to be dead on the site...

  • http://none trrrrrrrrrrrrrg


    checkout the free nvidia plugin...

    how to make your depthmap:
    1) take photo
    2) open in photoshop
    3) use Photoshop Nvidia plugin to create normal map
    4) save this normal map
    5) open this normal map in photoshop
    6) use Photoshop Nvidia plugin, but this time select the "depth map" option.
    7) voila.


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