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An overview of bump mapping techniques using the OpenGL API

Category: Developers

Jul 07, 2004

Bump mapping is a lighting technique that perturbs the normal vector of a surface on a per-pixel basis, using a texture map as input to model the perturbations. By using the perturbed normal for the lighting calculations, the apparent detail of the surface is greatly enhanced, without having to add extra geometric detail to the mesh. This article on bumpmapping discusses the original technique as developed by Jim Blinn, as well as several realtime implementations. The article also provides links to additional background information, useful tools, and implementations of the various techniques using the OpenGL API. The goal of this article is to introduce novice bump mappers to the most important realtime techniques, to explain the buzzwords that surround realtime bump mapping, and maybe also to dispell a myth or two.

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