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Bump Mapping Part 1

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I’m currently working with Visual Basic 6.0, doing something called bump mapping.

A picture is worth a million words.

bump-map1

Now the internets, in it’s not so infinite wisdom, makes it seem like doing a bump map should be a long and arduous and obfuscated process. I have yet to find one article on implementation which makes sense.

Sure. It can be explained. And while the code samples are semi-functional, it just all seems.. obtuse.

Put specifically – it just don’t make a lick o sense.

It’s like reading directions on how to assemble a desk from IKEA.

For instance – when you go to apply bumps to a texture using the methods they’ve documented, the code typically goes through and calculates light sources and includes ‘normal’ mapping for the bump maps.

Just a different way of thinking I suppose. Light for me is separate and distinct from bumps, and while the effect is certainly amplified with correct normal mapping, I’d rather do this the right way for me, and keep lighting separate from the model.

Real world scenario – I don’t need lights to feel bumps on an object. So avoiding the calculation of normals may be a way to increase efficiency in the future in no light situations (the goal is for tactile sensitive VR simulations here).

But why does it seem so blazingly difficult to do – at least online?

One thing I’ve noticed about programming in OpenGL is the sheer volume of post processing effects. This has – in my opinion – elevated system requirements and has the net effect of killing performance for what should otherwise be wonderful feats of technology.

Now while I’m certainly taking note as to why this is, which seems to lie squarely at the obfuscated documentation on OpenGL being a lead thing I’d point the finger at, for something like this.

Bump maps on a texture.

I would think this would be easier.

I suspect there’s something I’m not understanding about it. Most people lead by the rule that the easiest explanation is typically the most accurate. Naw, that’s just laziness and instant gratification permeating the mindset of the typical programmer. A wonderful mindset for masturbating. A horrible for programming.

Anyhoo. I’m leaving. Sicker than hell and ready to go throw up again. Which has become a nightly experience for me lately between the ulcer and now the cold.

Fun fun.


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