What is… Crazybump?


Crazybump is a tool that analyzes a source texture such as a diffuse map and attempts to generate additional supplementary maps based on that analysis. It has been in use by numerous professionals in 3d graphics since its beta was first released in 2007.


Crazybump is especially useful for generating tangent space normal maps, but can be used to create approximate height and specular maps, and a few other types. Many of these types of maps can be slow and difficult to create by hand or with freeware tools.


The algorithm has the most trouble with noisy surfaces and extreme contrast between light and shadow, but does a much better job at reconstructing the original depth than Photoshop CC's built in tool and various other free options.


Crazybump is no longer in development as of 2010, but is still a very straightforward and useful tool for quickly generating these kinds of maps. It can be considered the predecessor to Allegorithmic's Bitmap2Material, which is newer, cheaper, more accurate, and more stable on modern systems, but is also more complex tool with a steeper learning curve that can also be slower to use. This makes Crazybump a better option for novice users and projects needing a quick turnaround, and Bitmap2Material a better option for advanced users that can afford to take a little more time to find an ideal result.