3D mapping techniques are the basic texturing techniques in 3D Animation sector which are important in photorealism artworks. With 3D mapping skills, you are able to make your render looks realistic and professional. Broadly speaking, the 3D mapping is the adoption of certain textures to give a certain effect on a mesh or object.
Photorealism is a part of the digital artwork that in terms of painting, drawing, rendering, and other graphic design skills, in which an individual learns a photograph and then tries to recreate the image as realistically as possible in a digital device.
To accomplish your 3D animation artwork results near to perfect photorealism, firstly you need to be capable of basic techniques for 3D mapping that you can improve step by step in the practices.
The main advantage of bump mapping is you can modify an object without the limit of polygons. In which, that could make this technique really user-friendly for a computer with low specs of VGA, GPU, or Graphics Card. The reason is the bump mapping does not alter or modify existing polygons on an object. However, bump mapping is just an illusion which is generated by a renderer. Even though bump mapping is very efficient and widely used by animators worldwide. Bump mapping still has its deficiencies which you can enhance in working with the techniques of mapping after this.
Generally, parallax mapping is a 3D mapping which is a more extreme version of bump mapping or normal mapping. Besides that, parallax mapping also gives details on the rising and falling on the object layouts and other details on a scale that is much more extreme. Where these capabilities provide a more realistic picture if you use parallax mapping correctly.
You will be reliable in photorealism when you are working with specular mapping along with bump mapping and displacement mapping. If you can work with those 3D mapping techniques, you’ll be able to create an object that looks realistic. Basically, specular mapping renderer tells you which parts of an object that mostly don’t sparkling and which are cannot reflect light as much as other areas. Specular mapping can also give a stunning effect. In which this 3d mapping technique plays an important role to make things like half dewy glass, rusty metal, etc.
To conclude, these 3D mapping techniques are the initial artwork skills an artist should know in order to be capable of photorealism artworks.