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Shine maps for objects you only have UV and AO maps for.


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Has anyone run across a good tutorial for making shine maps (hope I got the right term) for objects that you don't have access to the mesh, only the  UV and AO maps?

I'm not looking to create a specular map for ALM, but  a shine/light map that I can bake into a texture.

Edited by Phate Shepherd
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Have a look at this wiki page, which documents all the different kinds of texture behavior:

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Material_Data

Specifically, it says that a texture -- when used as a specular map:

  • Encodes the color of the reflected light.
  • Uses the alpha channel to determine the intensity of the "environment map" reflections.

Here's an example of a solid rainbow-gradient used as the specular map of a cube with a white texture:

adafbf8e7c.png

The top-right prim is a light source. The left side of the larger cube is reflecting some light from it, which reveals the rainbow colors. If the cube is not reflecting light, it will stay purely white.

For the alpha, here are three examples. I colored them dark purple (I like purple) to make the alpha-gradients more clear, but in-world I am using black color.

5a1f7fceac.jpg

Here's what they look like, with 128 Glossiness and 255 Environment:

223364d933.png

There are two things happening there.

  1. The Environment is only shown where there are opaque pixels. Transparent = no "world reflections" or what we used to call "shine."
    • You can also see that the switch from 99% transparency to 100% transparency is pretty harsh.
  2. Because the non-transparent pixels are reflecting black, that means they reflect no color at all. No matter how bright the light source is, it's ignored.

Here's a last example, on the left there is a black square in the middle, on the right there is a white square in the middle.

8739a36751.png

 

Just to be clear: You can't bake the specular into the regular (diffuse) texture, and you don't need the mesh to create a specular texture. You can generally either hand-draw or generate a specular from a diffuse texture. You can set them in the Build/Edit window.

25d8963080.png

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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11 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Have a look at this wiki page, which documents all the different kinds of texture behavior:

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Material_Data

Specifically, it says that a texture -- when used as a specular map:

If I am following... that covers the behavior of spec maps with ALM turned on.

What  I am trying to do is generate a "simulated" spec map to bake into a diffuse texture. Yes, I know this is heresy to bake a spec into the main texture, but that is the goal, such as it is.

 So, I'm looking to create plastic looking spec maps when I don't have the mesh to load into blender or substance painter and create them using the actual model.

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10 minutes ago, Phate Shepherd said:

If I am following... that covers the behavior of spec maps with ALM turned on.

What  I am trying to do is generate a "simulated" spec map to bake into a diffuse texture... or create plastic looking spec maps when I don't have the mesh to load into blender or substance painter and create them using the actual model.

Yep.

When you don't have access to the model, you're stuck with generators or hand-drawing. Here's one you can try, but there are many:

https://cpetry.github.io/NormalMap-Online/

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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Just now, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Yep.

When you don't have access to the model, you're stuck with generators or hand-drawing. Here's one you can try, but there are many:

https://cpetry.github.io/NormalMap-Online/

Ok, I'll give that a try. Someone on BB suggested that, but I thought it was only for Normal maps, and specs based on the normal maps it generates.

Example of what I am rambling about:  https://gyazo.com/c95d2627d5aee954a334fb8c27d0ccd9

(The bright spots that sorta give the impression of plastic without having ALM on.)

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7 minutes ago, Phate Shepherd said:

Ok, I'll give that a try. Someone on BB suggested that, but I thought it was only for Normal maps, and specs based on the normal maps it generates.

Example of what I am rambling about:  https://gyazo.com/c95d2627d5aee954a334fb8c27d0ccd9

(The bright spots that sorta give the impression of plastic without having ALM on.)

Sorry, I got scatterbrained for a minute anyway. Specular generators are a bit harder to find, I don't even know of any off the top of my head.

But I see what you mean now, you actually want to add the "shininess" into the diffuse directly, without ALM. Without the model, you're pretty much doomed and would have to do that by hand. If it helps, you can use "local textures" so that you can edit and save a file, and see the changes in-world within seconds, but it'd still be pretty trial-and-error.

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17 hours ago, Phate Shepherd said:

Yes, I know this is heresy to bake a spec into the main texture

We can do with far more heresy among SL content creators. It's far too much doing it by the book and not nearly enough findign the best solution for specific situations.

I'm not sure what to say about your specific question though. The fundamental idea with shininess, prebaked or dynamic, is to make the parts of the surface with high reflectivity lighter in color than the ones with low. That's the basics anyway, you probably want a bit of colour adjustments and maybe a little bit of blurring too.

So, open the texture in whatever graphics program you use, add two new layers, one for the UV map and one for the shininess map you are going to make. On the shininess layer add brighter colors/shades for the high reflection parts and darker for the low reflection part, using the UV map as reference. I'm not sure which blend more the shininess layer should use. If your program supports Overlay mode (paint.net and Photoshop does, GIMP doesn't) try that first. Other options are Multiply, Screeen, Glow and Reflect. Once you are happy with the result, remove the UV map layer, merge the other two and save.

This is probably way to basic to be useful to you but it's hard to be more specific without knowing more.

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On 8/10/2020 at 7:29 AM, Kyrah Abattoir said:

Why?

It is just a general feeling I've gotten... maybe its just me thinking the creator community frowns on those that are doing retextures of full perm. Mind you, I'm starting to do more of my own meshes, but don't have the time or inclination to do everything myself.... and full perm mesh creators rarely do spec maps.

I'm normally on a laptop, and rarely run with ALM on unless taking photos... so I can appreciate lower spec users wanting something that looks "good" without having everything turned on.

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On 8/10/2020 at 9:23 AM, ChinRey said:

We can do with far more heresy among SL content creators. It's far too much doing it by the book and not nearly enough findign the best solution for specific situations.

I'm not sure what to say about your specific question though. The fundamental idea with shininess, prebaked or dynamic, is to make the parts of the surface with high reflectivity lighter in color than the ones with low. That's the basics anyway, you probably want a bit of colour adjustments and maybe a little bit of blurring too.

So, open the texture in whatever graphics program you use, add two new layers, one for the UV map and one for the shininess map you are going to make. On the shininess layer add brighter colors/shades for the high reflection parts and darker for the low reflection part, using the UV map as reference. I'm not sure which blend more the shininess layer should use. If your program supports Overlay mode (paint.net and Photoshop does, GIMP doesn't) try that first. Other options are Multiply, Screeen, Glow and Reflect. Once you are happy with the result, remove the UV map layer, merge the other two and save.

This is probably way to basic to be useful to you but it's hard to be more specific without knowing more.

That is sort of what I already knew. What complicates this further, is trying to turn around and teach this to someone else that doesn't feel comfortable hand drawing on UV maps. I might experiment further with the plastic wrap photoshop filter to see if it can help automate some of the tasks.

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1 hour ago, Phate Shepherd said:

It is just a general feeling I've gotten... maybe its just me thinking the creator community frowns on those that are doing retextures of full perm.

I sell full perm mesh and I love it when my customers retexture and modify what they bought to make it their own work. I'm not critisising the people who simply buy a bunch of full perm thingies, link them together and sell as their own but the real artists are the ones who take it one step further.

 

1 hour ago, Phate Shepherd said:

That is sort of what I already knew.

I thought so but I wanted to mention it just in case. Come to think of it, this isn't really an SL texture problem but a general image editing one. There ought to be some good tutorials out there. Try to search Google for "[your image processor] add gloss effect to image".

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13 hours ago, Phate Shepherd said:

I'm normally on a laptop, and rarely run with ALM on unless taking photos... so I can appreciate lower spec users wanting something that looks "good" without having everything turned on.

The problem is that it is not actually helping them because the larger textures are, the more ram/vram it uses, and if they can't run ALM, it is unlikely that they have ram/vram to spare either for the increased resolution requirements.

 

13 hours ago, Phate Shepherd said:

It is just a general feeling I've gotten... maybe its just me thinking the creator community frowns on those that are doing retextures of full perm.

Not what I implied at all.

Edited by Kyrah Abattoir
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4 hours ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

The problem is that it is not actually helping them because the larger textures are, the more ram/vram it uses

I'm not sure if I understand you right, Kyrah. Are you saying you save VRAM by using normal and specular maps?

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1 hour ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

Ok. You're not completely wrong but it's a truth with modifications. The normal and specular maps take up VRAM too and besides, no maps don't neccessarily mean higher resolution textures.

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11 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Ok. Yup're not completely wrong but it's a truth with modifications. The normal and specular maps take up VRAM too and besides, no maps don't neccessarily mean higher resolution textures.

Of course they are supplementary maps, however you get a more "visual appeal" in ALM at a fraction of the vram budget, because you let yhe GPU do its job instead of pre-baking everything into a texture that has to be much larger (and cannot be reused) as a result.

And even with baked materials, you typically don't need as high of a resolution.

Edited by Kyrah Abattoir
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On 8/12/2020 at 3:58 PM, Kyrah Abattoir said:

Of course they are supplementary maps, however you get a more "visual appeal" in ALM at a fraction of the vram budget, because you let yhe GPU do its job instead of pre-baking everything into a texture that has to be much larger (and cannot be reused) as a result.

And even with baked materials, you typically don't need as high of a resolution.

I would argue against saying it is a fraction of the vram budget. I highly doubt creators are using a lower resolution diffuse when they add in spec and/or normal. I would bet a significant number are using the same rez for diff, spec and norm, doubling or tripling vram usage when ALM is on.

I am also confused at the statement that pre-baking AO and light map/simulated spec into a texture has anything to do with its resolution. Pre-baking AO and light map doesn't change the size of the texture, nor does it necessitate a higher resolution texture. Texture resolution should be based on the typical surface area that will be presented.

I am not saying using ALM  is bad, or looks bad, I'm saying for a lot of lower end machines, it is takes a tremendous performance hit in both frame rate and vram usage.

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9 hours ago, Phate Shepherd said:

I would argue against saying it is a fraction of the vram budget. I highly doubt creators are using a lower resolution diffuse when they add in spec and/or normal. I would bet a significant number are using the same rez for diff, spec and norm, doubling or tripling vram usage when ALM is on.

Please doubt all you want, I have been consistently lowering my texture resolution project after project since I've shifted to materials. You will always have creators that have extremely bad practices (I'm looking at you, creator of "that public payphone" with 24 1024x1024 textures), just because some people have bad habits, and just because we can't publicly shame them for doing so on this forum, doesn't excuse not knowing better.

9 hours ago, Phate Shepherd said:

I am also confused at the statement that pre-baking AO and light map/simulated spec into a texture has anything to do with its resolution. Pre-baking AO and light map doesn't change the size of the texture, nor does it necessitate a higher resolution texture. Texture resolution should be based on the typical surface area that will be presented.

Baked houses that eat 300Mb of ram in textures just to burn a few shadows on what was a perfectly valid tiling texture set do not require higher texture resolutions and surely have no repercussion on the overall user experience.

9 hours ago, Phate Shepherd said:

I am not saying using ALM  is bad, or looks bad, I'm saying for a lot of lower end machines, it is takes a tremendous performance hit in both frame rate and vram usage.

Materials have been introduced at the very least in 2012, realtime shadows have been available since around 2006.

The abysmal performances we get in SL falls squarely on bad content creation practices.

It's long overdue to stop dragging our feet and clinging to the past.

Doom3 pioneered most of those features in 2004, and for 2004 it was cutting edge. Today it is the bare minimum.

 

I'm not going to change your mind, after 16 years in SL I know that people will just keep doing what they've always done, until the heat death of the universe. But it doesn't make it right.

Edited by Kyrah Abattoir
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1 hour ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

I'm not going to change your mind, after 16 years in SL I know that people will just keep doing what they've always done, until the heat death of the universe. But it doesn't make it right.

Points well taken. I completely agree that it all falls on the creator. Given proper use of tiling, that would be a reduction in vram usage for items like homes. I had my mind focused on objects that rarely use tiling, such as objects with all faces on a single UV.

I have mentioned it before: LL blew the best time to address this when land impact was introduced. Texture usage should have been rolled into the LI calculation. To deal with the dynamic nature of object faces (Scripts, etc.) each face would be assigned a max texture size that would be set in the texture tab of the build window. It would not be changeable with scripting, so a script couldn't increase an item's land impact by changing from, say a 512*512 to a 1024*1024. We are already accustomed to LI changing as we make adjustments with the build tools, like scaling an object. Where the downsampling would take place is up for debate (server side or client side.)

 

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I agree they absolutely should have rolled it out, then, but hindsight is 20/20, the main reason they have so much trouble adapting the system is the huge potential for punishing people for doing things "they were never told not to do" (feigning ignorance is bliss).

I do know that, the legacy renderer IS on the chopping block tho, but like Arctan the real question is "when?"

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1 hour ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

I do know that, the legacy renderer IS on the chopping block tho, but like Arctan the real question is "when?"

I hold out a small amount of hope that tablet/phone versions of the viewer may encourage a rethinking of the current renderer.

Edited by Phate Shepherd
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On 8/14/2020 at 4:02 PM, Phate Shepherd said:

I hold out a small amount of hope that tablet/phone versions of the viewer may encourage a rethinking of the current renderer.

The official/planned tablet/phone viewer will be a chat-only client for what I understand, where your avatar doesn't actually rez anywhere, so strictly for IMs

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