Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Rendering Systems releases ShaderMap 3

Rendering Systems has released ShaderMap 3, the latest version of its texture-creation software, adding support for 32-bit workflow, new tools for baking maps from 3D models, and new image-processing filters.

Tools for automatically generating or hand painting common texture maps
As with more expensive tools like Bitmap2Material or Knald, ShaderMap converts 2D source images into a range of common texture maps, including normal, displacement, specular and ambient occlusion.

It includes a 3D preview for the maps being generated, including the option to use custom geometry; and comes with a set of brushes for manually editing or detail normal maps.

Users can customise the way that maps are exported for editing in external applications like Photoshop; and the software comes with a C++ SDK and XML-based command-line options for pipeline integration.

New in version 3: baking from 3D models, albedo maps
To those toolsets, version 3 adds the option to generate maps from 3D models via cage projection, including displacement, AO, curvature, world space normals and tangent space normals.

The update also adds the option to generate an albedo map for use in PBR shading setups, with the options to control shadows and highlights as well as average luminosity.

There are also a set of 12 new filters that can be applied to maps: useful Photoshop-style operations, like Gaussian Blur, Brightness/Contrast and Color Balance, plus Normalize and Shadow/Highlight.

Filter stacks can be applied to each map node, both before and after the map is generated. All filter and map types support masks (shown in the video above), with the option to disable or invert masks before processing.

The software also now imports 32-bit TIFF and PSD files and imports and exports 32-bit floating-point EXR and HDR files, with all image calculations being performed using high-precision floating-point values.

Pricing and availability
ShaderMap 3 is available now 32- and 64-bit Windows Vista and above. The software costs $49.95 for the first seat, then $29.95 per additional seat.

Read a full list of new features in ShaderMap 3

Visit the ShaderMap website