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Within the world of textures, there is a special kind of texture called a normal texture, or what's also known as a bump texture, and here we have an example of a brick texture that's shown. In a normal texture, or a bump texture, the red, green, and blue channels indicate the direction of the shadow that would normally happen or the direction of the bump that would normally happen. So when the light hits it, it looks like it's bumpy, based on the certain direction of a light that would have normally have hit it.
So that's called a normal texture, and right here, I have a normal texture that I generated by baking the actual brick pattern. If you press Render, you get a very interesting kind of image. You are apparently looking at a wall of bricks, and the top of the brick here is kind of brighter, because that's where the sun light hits it, and then it falls across the face of the brick, and then underneath is a shadow line where there would be a shadow from the sunlight casting a shadow from the brick being outside from the mortar.
Now the reason it's colored like this is all in the texture mapping. This is actually just a flat plain that has this texture mapped to it. So if we come over here and select the texture, we can see that the first texture is this normal texture, which is in fact just an image that I took by baking the brick texture. And you can see there is color blue, and green, and red in places, to reflect where and how the light would change as it falls across the surface of the brick.
In this case this is a standard image texture. The next texture is a cloud texture that I've mapped to color, just to give some red or black variation to the image, but the first one is the normal. What's different here is that we have mapped this to a UV coordinate, which is the UV texture, so I have unwrapped this plain to UV texture. And I've clicked it to map to the normal, so that it effects the normal, and you control the amount of effect that this image has over the bumpiness of this surface, through this slider right here called Normal, and I have set it up to 1.
By default, it's a half. But if you slide this way up, then when you render, you get a very accented or augmented kind of effect, which you may or may not like or you may or may not consider better. The Normal effect or Bump mapping has both a positive and a negative. The first click enables the texture to apply to the normal in a positive manner. Now because of the way this image was set, to me, this looks like the mortar is outset and the bricks are inset, which is a valid mortaring process, but normally, I like to think of bricks as being outset from the mortar.
So by clicking this again, it reverses the bump, and insets the mortar inside the brick. The same kind of shadows apply, the same kind of apparent lighting also applies. That's how you can apply a normal texture to a flat surface to make it appear bumpy.
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