CrazyBump or ShaderMap Pro

· by Steve · Read in about 2 min · (280 Words)

I posted about this in the artist’s section of the Ogre forums already, but I figured I’d post it in my blog too.

I’m looking for a content pipeline to generate normal, displacement and specular maps from reference photos, and I’ve been playing with the demos of both CrazyBump ($299) and ShaderMap Pro ($19.99). In my tests, CrazyBump seems to give me the superior results very quickly, and I’ve been impressed by both the default setup and the amount of tweakables it has. It seems to pick up surface details really well compared to ShaderMap Pro, which seems to muddy them a little in most cases.

A case in point (CrazyBump on the left, ShaderMap Pro on the right):

crazybumpshadermap_test

The results are very similar, except that the surface of the stones is more ‘polished’ on ShaderMap; the indentations and scratch marks are always lower frequency, and the fine details are generally being lost. Yes, I know they’re probably using slightly different preview shaders, but the differences are obvious in the textures themselves too. I’ve tried tweaking all the generation settings and yet I still can’t get ShaderMap to register the scratches and scuffs at the level of detail that CrazyBump does right off the bat. CrazyBump also has lots more options generally when it comes to tweaking the results and I’ve found I can get quite customisable results with the input images I’ve tried.

So to me, it looks like CrazyBump is worth the price premium. ShaderMap Pro produces some nice results too, and for $20 it’s very good value, but it doesn’t seem to meet quite the same quality level as CrazyBump. What says the Internet? Any other suggestions?