Maya & Arnold – 5 Normal Mapping

For texturing download one of the images here, use your own, or find more in our CG Link Document. Upload your image to the this website, generate a normal and a specular map. Copy them together with the base image to your sourceimages folder.


In Maya create a simple cube and assign a new aiStandard Material, rename it in the attribute manager. Create a file node in the Diffuse, Specular, Bump channel and assign all three textures accordingly. The source image goes to the Diffuse Color channel of course.


At the file node in Bump Mapping we need to change “Use As” to “Tangent Space Normals”. The default “Bump” is ok with greyscale maps. But our real normal maps – those typical blueish images – deliver better render quality because of an improved interaction with lighting.


Then the IPR it looks like this.


Now let’s see if we can improve the UV mapping quickly. Select UV > Automatic > Options


With 6 Planes selected it simply projects our texture file onto all 6 sides of the cuboid.


You can easily change position, scale and rotation of the texture later in the polyAutoProj node.


Finally we need to raise the Weight in the specular channel to add some specularity. As soon as the Weight is greater than zero the image file we have connected to the Specular Color channel will be used to generate specularity on the surface. Bright areas in the image will result in more gloss and black parts make it matt.


Fine tuning textures is easy with the IPR.