Baking Normal Maps on the GPU, GPU Gems 3 (2007)

“The modern GPU is an extremely valuable resource for scientific computing and visualization. It has yet, however, to be fully tapped as a viable computing alternative for artistic asset production. Sometimes production costs can be considerably reduced without investing in additional hardware resources. The goal in this chapter is to prove that any midrange Shader Model 3.0 graphics card released in the last two years can be used to generate normal maps faster than most CPU-based tools. This is possible because the type of computation required is highly parallel and independent, therefore ideal for a stream processor.”

The complete article is available at NVIDIA’s website: