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Hello,

I was building an Amboss with blender.

I textured it and it looks great in Cycles.

In SL I miss the reflecting top.

Does anyone have an idea how i can bake it right for SL?

The Specular map which I uploaded and inserted to Second Life seems not to have any influence. First Pic: Shader Set Up in blender, Second Pic: blender Render Cycle ,Third Pic: SL Render3a2y1.pngPic.3a2xX.png3a2xV.png

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Dumb question, do you have Advanced Lighting Model turned on?

I would create an environment reflection mask, which will go into the specular maps alpha channel. For a start, try with your spec map as the mask as well. Then dial up the env value in the viewer.
For maximum effect, I would create a gloss map as well, which will go into the normal maps alpha channel.
Then it's best to create a normal map (hi to lowpoly) as well, since you'll need it for the gloss map anyway.

Anyways, it will never look the same in SL as it does in Cycles.

Edited by arton Rotaru
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First of all you need to increase the Glossiness setting in the viewer which is set to 0 in your picture. At zero there won't be any specular reflection visible.

The gloss map will have to be in the alpha channel of the normal map. It's not meant to be loaded into the shininess slot. If you set the Glossiness value to 255 in the viewer, you have the whole grayscale range from 0 to 255 (black to white) encoded from the gloss map.

Same applies for the environment mask. Set to 255 in the viewer, the specular maps alpha channel will be encoded from it's grayscale values in the map. Note, this is just a mask though, it's just the plain old reflection which we used to set to Low, Medium, or High before materials were introduced. With the mask we have much finer control how strong the reflection is for each pixel of the texture though.

However, it can be handy to adjust the maps values in such a way that you reach the desired effect already at a lower setting than 255 in the viewer. This way you have some leeway up or down to adjust the materials in-world as well.

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

Edited by arton Rotaru
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To the OP --- in case you aren't using an EEP viewer, be sure and test in one since the shininess factor can change greatly from Windlight to EEP (sometimes disastrously)  Also keep in mind that even forgetting about EEP the "shine" will appear very differently in various Windlight settings.   Here is a simple cube  with blank red texture and blank used as the specular map. In MANY Windlgihts it doesn't show any glossiness at all even when cranked up high. I worked hard to get this one :D

image.thumb.png.46d2592379c02367e6929902320e679b.png

 

But in several just normal daylight settings (nothing strange at all) that same box looks horrible.  

EDIT:  I didn't mean to switch to "texture" on that screenshot below but I did NOT make any modifications to the specular map --- just wanted to be clear on that. Easy enough to do your own test -- and educational to boot. 

image.thumb.png.118e56915f6e832b59dbe377370d5bb0.png

 

So something to think about since we have no control over lighting here (even after EEP).  In general getting shine in cycles works best on curved and rounded objects and doesn't show up as much on flat things.  

 

You can get the effect of shine without specular in Cycles even without a specular map, but that is mostly about lighting and the amount of glossiness you have defined in your nodes.  Again though, this WILL look flat under some lighting but doesn't wash out like speculars will. 

 

Good luck. I hope you work it out to your liking.  

 

shiny.thumb.jpg.bed91a1ca4a7ea22aab2a0db983ffa48.jpg

Edited by Chic Aeon
adding info
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2 hours ago, arton Rotaru said:

The gloss map will have to be in the alpha channel of the normal map

Where do i plug in the Glossy map then? See pic

2 hours ago, arton Rotaru said:

first of all you need to increase the Glossiness setting in the viewer which is set to 0 in your picture

Even if i increase glossiness and environment to 255 nothing changes.

1 hour ago, Chic Aeon said:

To the OP --- in case you aren't using an EEP viewer

i use Firestorm 6.4.12. Thank you Chic Aeon for your answer. But it must look good for every one not only at a specific windlight. If i set to sunset it looks much better. But my goal is that it looks good at calWL.

.3a39i.png

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4 minutes ago, Hellfire Markstein said:

But it must look good for every one not only at a specific windlight. If i set to sunset it looks much better. But my goal is that it looks good at calWL.

:D I guess my point was --- LOL that it will NOT look good for everyone if you add specular and normal maps WITHIN SL after upload.  This is not new news and why I chose not to use that method (all a personal choice of course).  But there are tons of folks who will fight to the death (well almost, I have been rewatching The Magicians on Netflix) their rights to use materials in SL  :D.   

If we were in Sansar where light was baked in --- it would be a whole different story. I used materials there.  :D

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23 minutes ago, Hellfire Markstein said:

Where do i plug in the Glossy map then? See pic

I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with Blenders current node system. The last Blender version I used was 2.49b (about 10 years ago).
However, you can add an alpha channel in an image editor like Photoshop to your normal map as well. Then insert the gloss map there.
@Aquila Kytori might be able to help with doing it in Blender directly.

23 minutes ago, Hellfire Markstein said:

Even if i increase glossiness and environment to 255 nothing changes.

Well, that's strange. Do you by any chance have Avatar Hardware Skinning turned off in the viewers graphics settings?

 

23 minutes ago, Hellfire Markstein said:

i use Firestorm 6.4.12

Like Chic pointed out, the specular intensity is drastically increased in current EEP viewers. It is not clear if this will be adressed by Linden Lab, or not. At least there is yet another Jira about this which has been triaged, and has been accepted just a few days ago.
https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/BUG-229822

Personally I'm still holding off adding any new content until this issue is resolved. One way or the other.

Edited by arton Rotaru
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1 hour ago, Hellfire Markstein said:

Where do i plug in the Glossy map then? See pic

Like @arton Rotarusays, SL and Blender plug shininess data into different places. (And SL doesn't even split things in a way that makes sense, to be honest.)

In SL, "Glossiness" is the strength, sharpness and tint of reflections from light sources only (including the sun and moon directly). It's closest to what Blender's Cycles renderer gives you for free by just giving a surface a low-roughness material, except Blender reflects every object. SL is too simple. You'll only see the SL equivalent of Blender's lamps in these reflections, not people or furniture or the walls.

"Environment" is the strength of a reflection of a fake field, sky & horizon skybox. It's meant to make up for the unrealistic simplicity of the glossiness portion above and give the object more realistic-looking reflections. You'll have to look up how to set up an HDRI background scene in Blender to get the same effect. (I think it's easier, or at least closer to the default, in the Eevee renderer.)

I don't want to repeat anything else that's already on pages you've been linked to, but I will add one more I found helpful:

https://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2016/06/specular-maps-in-second-life-tutorial.html

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8 hours ago, arton Rotaru said:

However, you can add an alpha channel in an image editor like Photoshop to your normal map as well

 

3a3uP.png

 

 

Hello Arton Rotary, do you mean like on the pic? I saved it and used it as a Normal Map in SL. There was no change.

8 hours ago, arton Rotaru said:

Even if i increase glossiness and environment to 255 nothing changes.

Sorry, environment works. Glossiness doesnt.

 

@Quarrel Kukulcan,  thanks for your very interesting information and the link.

8 hours ago, Chic Aeon said:

I guess my point was --- LOL that it will NOT look good for everyone if you add specular and normal maps WITHIN SL after upload

May be i didnt understand how you make the glossiness. Your last picture is very nce, but i didnt get how you made it.

 

My point is not that the Amboss looks bad but i want the top of the amboss to shine like a chrome metal, this is what i look for.

Edited by Hellfire Markstein
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10 hours ago, Hellfire Markstein said:

 

3a3uP.png

 

 

Hello Arton Rotary, do you mean like on the pic? I saved it and used it as a Normal Map in SL. There was no change.

Sorry, environment works. Glossiness doesnt.

 

@Quarrel Kukulcan,  thanks for your very interesting information and the link.

May be i didnt understand how you make the glossiness. Your last picture is very nce, but i didnt get how you made it.

 

My point is not that the Amboss looks bad but i want the top of the amboss to shine like a chrome metal, this is what i look for.

Yes, the gloss in the alpha channel is correct. You need to save the texture as 32 bit Targa. (or PNG, but in Photoshop Targa is much easier to work with IMO.)

I'm still not sure why you don't see any difference when you dial up the Glossiness value in the viewer though. Do you see specular reflections when you do something like Chic did with the cube? Just rez a regular cube. Set the specular map to Blank. Dial up the Glossiness value to 255. Press Ctrl+Shift+Y for Midday, and look straight down onto the cube. There should be a glaring reflection. At least as long as you aren't in the shadows. Turn shadows off if you have them enabled.

If that works it's a matter of how you make your spec and gloss map. If you want the top part to be very reflective, you'll have to make that part much brighter in the gloss, and spec map than the rest of the model. And to make it even more shiny, increase the Environment setting as well. Like mentioned before, best to create a msak for the environment reflection. You can add the mask just like the gloss to the normal in Photoshop, only this time to the specular map.

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I rezzed a cube with Spec blank. Glossy is set to 0 and environment to 255. (First Pic), Then I set glossy to 0 and environment to 255. (2nd Pic). Glossy has no influence at all also with the cube.

 

 

3a4aG.png3a4aJ.png

 

My Preference settings:

3a4cV.png

My Spec Map with Glossy in an alpha Channel:

 

3a4bh.png

 

 

Amboss has not much reflection on Top.

 

Is this your work flow? Bake Diffuse, Bake Spec, Bake Gloss, Bake Normal. Add Gloss to Spec in Alpha Channel. Upload the result to SL and drag into shininess. Add Glossy to Normal in Alpha Channel. Upload the result to SL and drag it to Bumpiness? Upload Diffuse and drag it to Texture?

Edited by Hellfire Markstein
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25 minutes ago, Hellfire Markstein said:

Glossy has no influence at all also with the cube.

When the sun is set to midday, you need to position your camera straight above the cube. To make that easier, you can repeat the experiment with a sphere instead of a cube. Then the camera position isn't as crucial as with the cube.

However, your graphics settings look fine. So you should be able to see materials in action actually.

My workflow is basically as you described. In fact it's somewhat different, since I don't use Blender to create texture maps. But that doesn't matter here.

Important is this:
Normal map contains the gloss map in alpha channel. This map goes into the Bumpiness (normal) slot.
Specular map contains the Environment reflection mask in the alpha channel. This map goes into the Shininess (specular) slot.

The Glossiness setting has to be greater than zero. If a gloss map is present from the normal maps alpha channel, you can crank this up to 255 and let the gloss map determine how sharp the reflection will be.
The Environment setting is optional. If you want skybox reflections on your model, you set that greater than zero. If a mask is present from the specular maps alpha channel, you can crank this up to 255 and let the mask determine how intense the env reflection will be.

It requires some experimentaion with the brightness of spec and gloss maps to get the desired result.

Don't worry, we will get this to work.

 

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14 hours ago, Hellfire Markstein said:

May be i didnt understand how you make the glossiness. Your last picture is very nce, but i didnt get how you made it.

I still use 2.79 so how I do things won't help you much unless you want to abandon the new node system :D.  But it isn't anything special and is covered in my tutorials.   It is very simple really and just has a mixed shader with glossy and diverse and the amount of glossyness and the ratio of glossy to diffuse is what can make the items look really shiny. 

 

image.thumb.png.e3b702e097f690653134c86e39ee3764.png

 

This type of effect works best on curved surfaces as I mentioned. The downside is that depending on the lighting you use to bake (VERY IMPORTANT) is that you WILL most often have shadows.   On most things I tend to bake pretty "flat" with only ambient textures so that the item can be used in many types of lighting.  Pluses and minuses to this too and completely a choice.   But on "arty" things the cast shadows work for me.  This screenshot is taken under completely flat lighting with no viewer shadows.   It is pretty old and I bake my textures on larger texture planes now for better resolution but you get the idea hopefully.

 

Good luck but remember there really IS no one way works for all those viewing the item -- in SL anyway.  

 

EDIT: The main reason that I decided on this method is that it looks better for those that can't run the viewer in ultra with lots of options turned on.  So I have a small but faithful niche of folks who I build for -- one that many creators avoid and go for the top end of "look". I completely understand that and things can look phenomenal.  But that same great look crashes some people's machines and man folks will never see what those of us running in ultra see.  So that was my choice many years ago.  Retired now :D.   

 

image.png.b83daccfedbf5852d45129b803f341cf.png

Edited by Chic Aeon
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@Chick Aeon, thanks a lot for your answer. Now i got your point and you are very right. You use  2.79. For me its no problem to transfer things which are done in 2.79 to 2.91.

I wonder that 2 Shaders plus a mixed shader works for SL. Someone told me it wouldnt work.

I have a good question: Do you bake diffuse with lights or without lights (color only)?

Thank you @Arton Rotaru.

2 hours ago, arton Rotaru said:

To make that easier, you can repeat the experiment with a sphere instead of a cube

Yes it works with a sphere. Glossiness has influence with Midday sun position. It doesnt work with the amboss.

 

The diffuse goes to texture in SL without any alpha?

 

3a4kZ.png

 

Is my Spec map looking correct? should it work with it? Because everything seems to depend on the right spec map.

The wite is the top of the Amboss which should shine like chrome.

 

3a4mk.png

 

 

Edited by Hellfire Markstein
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26 minutes ago, Hellfire Markstein said:

I have a good question: Do you bake diffuse with lights or without lights (color only)?

I bake with a complete light setup (usually a bit different for each type of object).  I don't think you can bake in Cycles without a light source :D.  And I do back COMPLETE (so ambient textures etc all bake as one texture (or sometimes several textures depending on how complex the item is)  

 

 OR if you meant do I color the light sources -- no, just the default ones changing position and brightness.   I have no idea at all how one would "convert" my method into the new node system. I don't plan to try LOL.  

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Hellfire Markstein said:

Yes it works with a sphere. Glossiness has influence with Midday sun position. It doesnt work with the amboss.

The Amboss has the same problem that the cube has. When the sun is at noon, the rays of light will be reflected straight up. You need to bring your camera more or less perpendicular above the surface, and pointing straight down.
To make working with materials more fun, you can add a local light source in-world, and move your cam with Ctrl, Alt mouse left, up, down, left, right and so on.

In this example there isn't any specular reflection visible with the sun at noon. The local light makes it shine though.

LocalLight.gif.e758bbd625b99d7d9de7fc1f3ef28dc0.gif

Edited by arton Rotaru
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On 1/14/2021 at 11:26 AM, arton Rotaru said:

The Glossiness setting has to be greater than zero. If a gloss map is present from the normal maps alpha channel, you can crank this up to 255 and let the gloss map determine how sharp the reflection will be.

Emphasis added, because that's an important and unintuitive point.

The Glossiness number and values in the normal map alpha channel control how sharp the specular reflections are, not how strong they are. It's basically smoothness. When these values are low, you still get a lot of specular brightening but it's fuzzy, and it's less bright at any given point but only because it's also spread over a wider area.

If you want sharp but weak reflections, you actually want to tone down the specular map color/tint from white to a darker gray.

Edited by Quarrel Kukulcan
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