08-20-2012 07:44 AM - edited 08-20-2012 07:55 AM
The announcement by the Lab is here: Materials System
Oz has created a JIRA for the development process and bug reporting. Discussion should occur in the forum, preferably here in the Building and Texturing section.
JIRA: Add support for Normal & Specular Maps - STORM-1905
Feature requests should be entered as separate JIRA items in the VWR (Viewer) Project. Oz has recommended you add feature requests in the forum before making a JIRA request.
Some threads on normal maps have started in the Mesh section. Those may get moved to here, I suppose it depends on how busy the forum mods are.
Oz advises that this first pass is not likely to see many feature requests picked up. They will more likely be additions and fixes in the second pass. So, patience...
Information is from the 8/20 Open Source meeting.
08-20-2012 08:57 AM
Will switching to FULL BRIGHT affect only the diffuse texture? Will it affect diffuse and specular? Will it somehow affect normal maps too?
08-20-2012 09:19 AM - edited 08-20-2012 01:26 PM
When the picture is fullbright, there can be no lighting effects, so specular and normal maps won't show anything then.
Looks like it will or at least might. Bumpiness works on fullbright objects, so does shininess. I guess I spoke too soon.
08-20-2012 09:52 AM
Fullbright (or "emissive" as I like to call it) functionality is somewhat up in the air right now. Currently I'm considering the following approaches:
A) Make fullbright objects accept a normal map, and only apply "shiny" lighting as it were to them like all other objects instead of having it handled as its own separate effect (since this will be a controllable set of parameters, it may make the most sense to go this route)
B) Keep fullbright objects as-is, and follow up with a more comprehensive solution later for emissive materials
08-20-2012 11:06 AM
How fast do you think this will come to the grid, or to closed or open beta? I can't wait to play with this!
08-20-2012 11:45 AM
In case Geenz wants to answer more questions ...
I would like to know whether the size, repeats, offsets and orientation of the proposed maps will (initially) br locked to those of the applied texture. I guess making them independent might have to be a feature request?
Secondly, even more than specular and normal maps, I would like to be able superimpose (multiply) a tiled texture with a (smoothed) low resolution untiled ao mask. That would avoid sacrificing the high detail of the tiled texture to use ao, and allow both textures to be smaller than the large baked texture they would replace. Is ther anything in the plans that would lend itself to that application? Or would that have to be a feature request too?
08-20-2012 07:26 PM - edited 08-20-2012 07:31 PM
I second Drongle's suggestion of a multiply-effect overlay - it would make life HUGELY easier to create AO shadow effects.
Currently, I'm forced to work with smaller surface areas to achieve a decent texture resolution AND faked AO shadowing, but this tends to be very limiting (in large architectural builds, in order to reduce texture overhead, I have to constantly repeat the same textures with included AO shadow effect, which gets repetitive very quickly, even if I have a couple of variations to mix things around).
If some kind of multiply mask was possible (even if limited to low resolution, say 256x256) it would go a long way to solving the issue - especially if this multiply AO masking is independent of the underlying diffuse texture (with standard tiling/repeat capabilities) - I could keep the AO shadow in place, while changing up the diffuse texture's rotation, repeats and so on, which would vastly increase visual diversity while still maintaining a small texture palette overall.
(Still, I am drooling over the possibilities of normal and specular maps, definitely!)
08-20-2012 07:40 PM
I can't wait to test this feature out. I have wanted normal and specular maps in SL for years now.
I'd also like to add a +1 request for an AO shader. I brought up the need for this material in the informal user group meeting. I won't repeat everything I said there since Drongle pretty much covered why it is immensely useful. It just needs to be repeated that the AO function in the viewer does not give the fine detail control over AO that an AO map does. Plus, there are many that can't even use the viewer feature because of hardware issues.
08-20-2012 11:07 PM
At the mesh UG, Geenz indicated that the initial implementation would have the specular and normal maps tied to the same size and parameters as the texture. So anything with Independent parameters will presumably have to wait for consideration as added fearures. One step at a time, I guess. Without knowing the details of the implementation, it isn't possible to see how hard it might be to make such additions.
08-21-2012 12:17 AM
Drongle McMahon wrote:
At the mesh UG, Geenz indicated that the initial implementation would have the specular and normal maps tied to the same size and parameters as the texture.
I'm by no means an expert of what goes on inside a server or graphics card or anything, but I have the vague idea a texture has to be baked onto a surface before it can be rendered onto your screen. This would mean when you add a layer of occlusion to a diffuse map (with a different UV), all the textured surfaces either become unique or turn into one huge surface instantly.
Even 3ds max won't allow you to show two "effects" (diffuse, ambient, normal, bump, specular etc) at the same time in your viewport.
Maybe someone with some more technical knowledge could shed their light on this? Afterall it is possible to have shadows and occlusion through the renderer realtime.