What is the best alternative to Awesome Bump?
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... Meaning you will always lose some quality. You can test this for yourself in real time by generating a height map from a normal, then clearing the normal and generating a new one based on height, then clearing the previous height map and generating a new one based on the new normal. Obviously, no one would do that, but it effectively demonstrates that Materialize, by its nature, sacrifices the accuracy that other programs can guarantee you. See More
This is easily Materialize's biggest limitation. Even the most basic diffuse maps have more than two tones, so for the third tone and beyond, the height map generator just takes over the wheel and drives over a cliff. This drawback means the program is only really helpful for basic, one- or two-tone materials like stone impressions, brick walls, simple fabric patterns, etc. It also means the gloss/roughness generator is operating in completely the wrong frame of mind. If you have a material like tire rubber with sections that are muddy, wet, snow-crusted, blood splattered, etc. Materialize is only going to let you select two tones to make glossy or rough, and the other twelve are anybody's guess as to how reflective or absorbent they'll be. See More