Here is an update. My VAR said the problem was that the images on 4 edges of the bump file don't match up when tiled.
So I used Photoshop to mirror the bump jpg in both E-W and N-S directions. I did the same mirror technique for a photo of the metal and created a a color jpg and then created a new appearance.
Here is the final result. The vertical seams are gone, but I still have horizontal indents.
Any ideas or do I call this good enough for government work?
My opinion, without Visualize supporting procedural textures for the bump you are always going to have some "tiling". Your second image is a common issue with trying to make your own tillable images. When you mirror or create a quarter and then mirror to fill the full square you have the pattern effect. It doesn't really show up in PS on a single tile but once repeated it clearly shows.
Couple things I try and do.
I make my "tile" in PS and then repeat it there to see where the problem areas for tiling. Then I massage the tile over and over until I have something acceptable.
You might also try making a really large tile in PS based on the scale of the hole area you're trying to cover. Then one tile (repeat) is all it takes to cover the geometry rather than lots of tiles. This method also works with decals (sometimes better) where there is no repeating, just sizing the one image to the area.
You really shouldn't be seeing these large grooves in your texture:
Visualize texture mapping and tiling goes right up to the outer pixel of the texture map, so i don't think that's the issue.
The issue must be in the texture itself, however i'm perplexed where this issue lies. I took a look at your textures in Photoshop and couldn't find where that 'groove' existed in your texture.
The one test you could try, is to crop in in your texture in Photoshop, cutting off the edges by a large amount. Then saving out this as a new texture map to load into Visualize. if the big 'groove' is gone, then you know the issue is in the edge of the texture still.
If the 'groove' is still present, then it might be a weird bug.
You got the first part down...creating a "seamless" texture... but you might need to work at it a bit more. See link below...
I looked at your original images/psd file, and if that was what you worked from, then I suspect the issue may be lighting...as in smooth lighting on the image in photoshop itself. Your image is very light in one corner, dark in the other. That won't work. Take Rob's suggestion here as well, and make sure you use your image as a pattern and see how it looks in PS when it repeats.
Here's an article on creating seamless textures that may be useful.
There is quite an art and a lot of tools to creating good procedural bump/normal maps...
Lastly, I also agree with Rob, that in this case of a repeating, random, bump, some basic procedural (3d/programable) textures are best b/c you never have to even worry/think about seems.
Rob, Brian & Ron,
Thank you for your insightful comments.
I got a new photo from my client and cut out a square section (2"x2") in Photoshop and did a N-S & E-W mirror to get 4"x4". Because this copper sheet is hand hammered, I could not find a square edge without indents. I then created an appearance and applied it to a 4" cube. (see rendering). It is obvious where the indents along the cut edges got mirrored!
So I will try Ron's tutorial on creating seamless textures. My goal is to get a single Photoshop image that is 52"x36" (to match sheet size).
I had another look at the picture I was using. I see that when I did the crop in Photoshop, I used the option to retain original image. When I panned the image, I noticed a 1 pixel black band around the cropped image. The later crops did not use the "retain original" option and they don't have that groove.
Perfect, mystery solved.
Looks like you're getting on just fine, thanks to Rob & Ron