Bump Mapping

Bump mapping is used to add detail to an image without increasing the number of polygons. Bump mapping relies on light-reflection calculations to create small bumps on the surface of the object in order to give it texture; the surface of the object is not changed.

Bumps are applied by matching up a series of grayscale pixelswith colored pixels on the rendered, colored object. Lighter grayscale pixels create a sense of maximum relief or maximum indentation; darker pixels have less effect.

A computer must contain a supporting 3D graphicscard when it runs an application that has been coded to include bump maps. If the graphics card does not support bump mapping, then the bumps won’t be seen. In the case of computer games, the programmer usually will code an alternate version that doesn’t use bump maps. This version will look flatter and less real.

Webopedia Staff
Since 1995, more than 100 tech experts and researchers have kept Webopedia’s definitions, articles, and study guides up to date. For more information on current editorial staff, please visit our About page.

Top Articles

The Complete List of 1559 Common Text Abbreviations & Acronyms

From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 SMS, online chat, and text abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top...

List of Windows Operating System Versions & History [In Order]

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

Generations of Computers (1st to 5th)

Reviewed by Web Webster Learn about each of the 5 generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that...

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media management tool designed to help its users manage...

Glassdoor

Glassdoor is an online job search and review platform for people seeking new...

GitLab

GitLab is a DevOps platform where software development and IT operations teams collaborate...