A flow map stores directional information in a texture, also called a vector field. This can be used to control the UV coordinates for a water texture, to make the texture flow around rocks. It can also be used to control the direction of a hairstyle's anisotropic specular highlight.
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Flow map tools and discussions
- Flow Map Painting in Substance Painter, Polycount Forum thread.
- FlowMap Painter tool
- Graphics Runner: Animating Water Using Flow Maps
- How to paint flow/anisotropic/comb maps in Photoshop Polycount forum thread
- Creating a "comb map" Paint Shop Pro tutorial by Ben Mathis, Polycount forum thread
- Flow Map Painting Script Polycount forum thread
- Creating and using Flow Maps UDK tutorial by Phill Johnson
- How Do You Make a Flow Map? Polycount forum thread
- UDK - Maelstrom/Whirlpool - Creation Process? Polycount forum thread
Flow map whitepapers
- Water Technology of Uncharted Naughty Dog whitepaper from GDC 2012
- Graphics Runner: Animating Water Using Flow Maps by Kyle Hayward
- Water Flow in Portal 2 (PDF) Valve Software whitepaper from SIGGRAPH 2010