Tutorials:Creating Bumpmaps (Normal Maps) for TS3

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Bump Maps (or Normal Maps) are a graphic effect that creates a visual illusion of bumps and dents on the mesh without adding actual details to it. If a bump map is done properly, it can add more realism to even the most low polygon mesh.

However, some objects in Sims 3 can look good without a bump map, so use it only if needed as it can heavily affect the package size.


  • This tutorial is written for beginners, however, some basic knowledge on how to use your imaging program is needed. Also, you'll need to be fairly familiar/comfortable with key commands (i.e. ctrl + c) and other necessary functions.

Programs Needed

Paint Programs (Pick One)

  • GIMP is a - free - program that can be used to edit Sims 3 texture files. Find it here.
  • Photoshop is, perhaps, the most used paint program. However, it can be very expensive. The bright-side is, a lot of schools/universities/jobs offer free or discounted versions of Photoshop to their students/employees.

Normal Map Plug-Ins

This version is no longer supported by the developer.

Programs Demonstrated

This tutorial was executed using Photoshop CS4 Extended (11.0) and the NVIDIA Texture Tools to demonstrate steps through out the tutorial. This means that screenshots (and possibly some keystrokes) might differ from what you see, however the concepts are the same.


This tutorial was originally written by Elexis from ModTheSims.

The Tutorial

Click HERE to get started.
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