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2 hours ago, Janet Voxel said:

That is doable now. There's a couple people that do custom work with materials and lighting that really make SL pop.

52083317408_a9fea23059_b.jpg

 

This is why I'd like to learn how to make maps. I make a lot -- probably most? -- of my own backdrops for photos, although obviously I use commercial mesh elements. But much of what I use is full perm, so I can modify it. I do make really basic spectral maps myself, but normal maps are beyond my capability at the moment.

I think newer versions of Photoshop can generate normal maps. And you can do it in Blender, but only I think with mesh that you can import into the software?

Anyway, yes. It'd be nice to produce the kinds of reflections and lighting effects we can see here.

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6 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

This is why I'd like to learn how to make maps. I make a lot -- probably most? -- of my own backdrops for photos, although obviously I use commercial mesh elements. But much of what I use is full perm, so I can modify it. I do make really basic spectral maps myself, but normal maps are beyond my capability at the moment.

I think newer versions of Photoshop can generate normal maps. And you can do it in Blender, but only I think with mesh that you can import into the software?

Anyway, yes. It'd be nice to produce the kinds of reflections and lighting effects we can see here.

Protip:

Learn Material Maker

It can do the photo-based generation of Normal maps that you're describing, but it can also make PBR materials which will be compatible with Second Life when PBR hits the grid.

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45 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

This is why I'd like to learn how to make maps. I make a lot -- probably most? -- of my own backdrops for photos, although obviously I use commercial mesh elements. But much of what I use is full perm, so I can modify it. I do make really basic spectral maps myself, but normal maps are beyond my capability at the moment.

I think newer versions of Photoshop can generate normal maps. And you can do it in Blender, but only I think with mesh that you can import into the software?

Anyway, yes. It'd be nice to produce the kinds of reflections and lighting effects we can see here.

Making a normal map is pretty easy. There are normal map generators online. gimp also has a normal map generator plug-in.
 

Say you have a diffuse texture for a floor, you can run it through a normal map generator and create a normal map for the floor that matches the diffuse perfectly. I do it all the time in my houses.

Since you already do your own builds and can make a specular map you’re almost there.

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11 minutes ago, Janet Voxel said:

Making a normal map is pretty easy. There are normal map generators online. gimp also has a normal map generator plug-in.
 

Say you have a diffuse texture for a floor, you can run it through a normal map generator and create a normal map for the floor that matches the diffuse perfectly. I do it all the time in my houses.

Since you already do your own builds and can make a specular map you’re almost there.

Thanks, Janet! I'll do some looking around. I've experimented with making normal maps from diffuse textures -- and it has worked, imperfectly. If there are easy ways to generate better versions, that's great to know!

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a pretty good one is smartnormalmap 2.0 https://www.smart-page.net/smartnormal/

You just load your image in and adjust it. I just did a quick search of a tile in google and did this normal map in about 30 seconds. Of course you would have to play around with it for SL, but I'm thinking that would simulate some depth pretty well inworld

image.thumb.png.f1a74a532cb0cfd899af033d8d6ab988.png

Edited by Janet Voxel
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3 hours ago, Janet Voxel said:

a pretty good one is smartnormalmap 2.0 https://www.smart-page.net/smartnormal/

Wow, that's a new one for me and a really interesting one too! It won't work with all textures of course but when it works, it works really well and there are some texture it handles better than any of the more advanced normal map-from-texture generators I've seen.

But there is another aspect to this and it's a slightly frustrating one: This is actually Second Life's good old pre-ALM "Brightness" bumpiness feature only with some very simple but crucial functions to tweak the result.

Take a look at this texture:

image.png.15c0a447fbf7f2ad58e41324ddb96fcf.png

Here it is with normal maps:

image.png.5e08a8e8550e1bcad725b65b4710175d.png

One part of this surface uses the viewer's built in Brightness bumpiness map, the rest uses SmartNormap generated maps with three different bias settings. Can you tell where one starts and the other ends?

Never mind, I'll show you:

image.png.b9c6c83bc3148775241ff2677892108d.png

The top left part is the one that has the viewer generated map.

Of course, SL's old style normal maps do not work with specular maps at all and that's a HUGE disadvantage since normal and specular maps nearly always need to work together:

image.png.56bca48215caafab92a23ee22601f2ec.png

So, it would be fairly easy to add a feature like SmartNormap to the viewer to generate normal maps on the fly. Most of the functionality is already there. Just some very simple itensity, blur and reverse functions and fix that pesky bumpiness/specular incompatibility bug (all of that should have been done loong ago anyway) and there you go.

Edited by ChinRey
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24 minutes ago, Sid Nagy said:

I see sections of a blue-ish wall. All a bit different like foto's taken from slightly different parts.
Where is all the fuzz about? Nothing is spectacular better IMHO.

Normal maps really only become visible when your perspective on them shifts: they create a sort of dynamic illusion of depth from shadow, and as your view of them moves, so does the fake "shadow," which is what produces the heightened 3D effect.

ETA: I'm going to get corrected here, quite justifiably, but the primary function of normal maps is therefore to add extra "detail" to a mesh surface -- bumps, ridges, and such -- without actually using polygons. And that extra detail is what becomes visible through the fakey shadows.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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11 hours ago, Sid Nagy said:

I see sections of a blue-ish wall. All a bit different like foto's taken from slightly different parts.
Where is all the fuzz about? Nothing is spectacular better IMHO.

As Scylla said, normal maps are all about dynamic rendering. For a static image you may as well just add those shadings to the texture itself and be done with it. This is one of the four reasons why I don't usually use normal maps in SL myself. SL isn't a very dynamic environment by nature so there are limits to how effective those maps can be there.

Sorry about the image quality. This is the first time I've tried making and uploading an animated gif for the forum and I'm not sure if I'm doing it right.

6083079_normalandspeculardemo.gif.0c05f1bbfd3d967e6af9868be9b69ba2.gif

You can see how the part to the right with normal and specular maps changes with the view angle while the left part with only a texture stays the same. This is a combination of normal and specular maps, each on their own wouldn't have been of much use. It's a different and more elaborate normal map than the one I used it my previous posts btw; I had already trashed them so I used the one I originally made for the texture instead. (It's a different color variant of the texture too but that's only because I forgot which one I had used in the first post.)

(Edit: Looking at that animation and knowing how many SL builders behave: Do not use this kind of heavy gloss on your builds! Unless it's on a surface that really needs it that is. This is a glazed brick texture so it's supposed to have this strong white gloss. Very few other materials do.)

Edited by ChinRey
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19 hours ago, Jenna Huntsman said:

Protip:

Learn Material Maker

It can do the photo-based generation of Normal maps that you're describing, but it can also make PBR materials which will be compatible with Second Life when PBR hits the grid.

Just to build off this, here's an example material which I quickly made for some PBR testing - this is an example of the process of converting a conventional diffuse texture into a PBR material.

image.thumb.png.27d7c9d8e0c23ca7230cc0561106103e.png

It's worth noting that this is using photo-based normals - this isn't ideal, as photo-based normals are entirely based on guesswork. Normal maps should be created by baking a high-poly model onto a low-poly one, but for this item photo-based generation works well enough.

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I've used the the nVidia normal map maker in PhotoShop, and Photoshop's own, for years to make normal maps. For simple things it's fine and can make some nice results, but anything complex can take hours of playing about with different parts of the image: inverting some, masking others, increasing/decreasing contrast... thank LL for local textures! Sometimes I've even made a model in Blender just to generate a normal map for something else.

Can't wait to play about with PBR when I get chance (currently fixing the RL roof then insulating the loft).

One question that keeps bugging me... I suppose our existing diffuse/normal/specular textures are still going to work after PBR is introduced, are they?

Edited by Rick Daylight
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29 minutes ago, Rick Daylight said:

Can't wait to play about with PBR when I get chance (currently fixing the RL roof then insulating the loft).

One question that keeps bugging me... I suppose our existing diffuse/normal/specular textures are still going to work after PBR is introduced, are they?

This blog says there will be an additional editor.  I don't know much about all of this either.

Here's a snippet from the  blog and a link.

  ***Materials will be uploaded with an additional editor (shown right), which will allow some manipulation and delivery the materials as an inventory item when uploaded.

Supported textures / capabilities:

RGB albedo + transparency.

RGB Occlusion/Roughness/Metalness: R = occlusion, G = roughness; Blue = metalness.

RGB emissive.

RGB normal (- alpha).

Double-sized supported (disables backface calling before issuing the draw call).

Two-sided lighting (so if the back of a triangle is visible, it flips the normal around).

Functionality not initially supported will be the ability to change the UVU wrapping Mode (so everything will sill be repeat); no ability to change the metification / magnification filter per texture;

The process separates the materials from the mesh, so the materials can’t know if things like tangents are present.

Texture will initially have to be packed by a creator’s preferred toolset; once the project gets to a state of polishing, the importer should re-pack the textures itself, unless importing from a non-glTF source, in which case self-packing will still be required.

Normals will likely be MikkTSpace, as per the glTF specification, but work needs to be done to see if supporting this could lead to clashes with the current normal maps rendering. This does mean that current Normal maps will not work on PBR materials.

Uploads will be L$10 per texture, so L$40 if all four used.

Brad Linden is working on getting the import into inventory working.

https://modemworld.me/2022/06/18/2022-ccug-meeting-week-24-summary-materials-alm/

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2 minutes ago, EliseAnne85 said:

This blog says there will be an additional editor.  I don't know much about all of this either.

Here's a snippet from the  blog and a link.

  ***Materials will be uploaded with an additional editor (shown right), which will allow some manipulation and delivery the materials as an inventory item when uploaded.

Supported textures / capabilities:

RGB albedo + transparency.

RGB Occlusion/Roughness/Metalness: R = occlusion, G = roughness; Blue = metalness.

RGB emissive.

RGB normal (- alpha).

Double-sized supported (disables backface calling before issuing the draw call).

Two-sided lighting (so if the back of a triangle is visible, it flips the normal around).

Functionality not initially supported will be the ability to change the UVU wrapping Mode (so everything will sill be repeat); no ability to change the metification / magnification filter per texture;

The process separates the materials from the mesh, so the materials can’t know if things like tangents are present.

Texture will initially have to be packed by a creator’s preferred toolset; once the project gets to a state of polishing, the importer should re-pack the textures itself, unless importing from a non-glTF source, in which case self-packing will still be required.

Normals will likely be MikkTSpace, as per the glTF specification, but work needs to be done to see if supporting this could lead to clashes with the current normal maps rendering. This does mean that current Normal maps will not work on PBR materials.

Uploads will be L$10 per texture, so L$40 if all four used.

Brad Linden is working on getting the import into inventory working.

https://modemworld.me/2022/06/18/2022-ccug-meeting-week-24-summary-materials-alm/

I can actually clarify on this:

  • Materials editor UI is still WIP, so any images you see of it are STC.
  • Channel mapping is correct. Normals no longer have an alpha channel, and we don't use a specular map with PBR materials.
  • Double-sided materials are now supported (So, we no longer need extra geometry to render both sides of a plane)
  • Tangents is an ongoing discussion; but everything is planned to transition to using MikkT space normals (as, this is what most content creation tools have been exporting for years), so existing normals should be more faithful to their source content.
  • Pricing is correct (assuming you're not a premium plus user), however it's unlikely that users need to use all 4 textures often, so the average price of a PBR material is L$ 30.
  • Inventory import is working, ish. There's still some lingering issues. Hopefully these will be solved by the time PBR gets a public test viewer.
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18 hours ago, Rick Daylight said:

I've used the the nVidia normal map maker in PhotoShop, and Photoshop's own, for years to make normal maps. For simple things it's fine and can make some nice results, but anything complex can take hours of playing about with different parts of the image: inverting some, masking others, increasing/decreasing contrast...

Yes, another reason why I don't use normal maps very often. There are fundamentally four ways to generate them.

You can use some software that creates synthetic textures, such as FilterForge. That's easy enough since the height mapping is built in right from the start. But there are limits to how realistic textures such software can synthesize. Some materials are quite easy to do that way but for others you just can't get them to look right.

You can do it as Jenna described, generate normal maps from a high poly 3D model. That's also quite easy in theory at least but even with the highest poly models you can't really get all the details you need and much of the time it's all but impossible to sync the result with the texture. Look at the glazed brick textures I used for my examples. If I wanted to make a normal map for it in Blender, I would have to build a high poly brick wall, complete with every single tiny little chip and irregularity on every single brick! In a case like this it's simply waaay to much work to be a viable option. One alternative would of course have been to make a simpler brick texture with strictly rectangular identically sized and spaced bricks but that would defy the whole point of normal maps: you want to use them to increase the quality of the render, not reduce it.

The third way is to use a program that generates a normal map based on an existing texture. This method is inherently impossible since a texture doesn't actually contain the necessary data. So we cheat a bit. What such programs do, is treat the texture as a height map: dark color means low, light colors high - or every now and then vice versa.  That's not how things really are of course. Advanced normal map generators offer you a lot of ways to tweak the output but this fundamental flaw will always be there.

The final option is one I use occasionally: Open the texture in an image editor and use it as the template to create a height map manually. I suppose I don't have to say why I wouldn't recommend this method to the casual content creator or to a professional who needs to consider how many working hours their paycheck justifies.

Edited by ChinRey
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22 minutes ago, EliseAnne85 said:

Supported textures / capabilities:

RGB albedo + transparency.

RGB Occlusion/Roughness/Metalness: R = occlusion, G = roughness; Blue = metalness.

RGB emissive.

RGB normal (- alpha).

Without knowing the details, it seems they've got the right idea here. However, there are two parts of PBR that isn't mentioned at all, microsurfaces and fresnel effect simulation. I hope this is because they don't need maps, not because LL has overlooked them.

26 minutes ago, EliseAnne85 said:

Double-sized supported (disables backface calling before issuing the draw call).

Finally! 😄 But ummm... now I'll have to redo all my plants to take advatage of it!!!

 

35 minutes ago, EliseAnne85 said:

Normals will likely be MikkTSpace, as per the glTF specification, but work needs to be done to see if supporting this could lead to clashes with the current normal maps rendering. This does mean that current Normal maps will not work on PBR materials.

Never mind the normal maps. how are current RGB specular maps supposed to work when SL is switched over to the metalness workflow???

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7 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

microsurfaces and fresnel effect simulation

These won't be supported at launch for PBR, namely because they don't form part of the base glTF spec.

9 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

how are current RGB specular maps supposed to work when SL is switched over to the metalness workflow???

Legacy materials will continue to work as they do today, albeit with some fixes and some non-breaking changes. There will be some things where a legacy material is deemed preferable, for example, if you use a specular map to tint the colour of reflected light, as the implementation of PBR at launch cannot do this. (That's not to say it won't ever be able, but the PBR at launch is targetting the base glTF spec, not any of it's extensions, which may be implemented at a later date)

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26 minutes ago, Rowan Amore said:

Will we see things differently than before?

Yes*

27 minutes ago, Rowan Amore said:

Will items we have such as mesh heads and bodies be effected in a negative way? 

Provided they have been made correctly, no. In fact, they should look better than before.

* this is such a broad question, and with so many things that are still not set-in-stone I can't really be more specific.

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2 minutes ago, Jenna Huntsman said:

made correctly

This right here is what I'm wondering about.  Are the current heads and bodies "made correctly" or are we going to see some content being 'broken' as a result of the upgrade?   Will it only be broken unless we have certain graphics dialed up 24/7?   Will it look horrible unless you have such and such graphics turned on?  Items I have around my home, I couldn't care less.  I can easily switch out something bad for something better.  Heads and bodies?  Not so much.  

I guess my concern is...will this break current content AS IT IS without major updates?

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2 minutes ago, Rowan Amore said:

This right here is what I'm wondering about.  Are the current heads and bodies "made correctly" or are we going to see some content being 'broken' as a result of the upgrade?   Will it only be broken unless we have certain graphics dialed up 24/7?   Will it look horrible unless you have such and such graphics turned on?  Items I have around my home, I couldn't care less.  I can easily switch out something bad for something better.  Heads and bodies?  Not so much.  

I guess my concern is...will this break current content AS IT IS without major updates?

I can't speak for everything, as the market is huge, but I believe for most major brands (Think LeLutka, Catwa, Maitreya, eBody, etc) all of their content should work properly. I don't have every single body / head to test, but I can say that a LeLutka / Maitreya combo works with zero issues.

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2 hours ago, EliseAnne85 said:

Double-sized supported (disables backface calling before issuing the draw call).

Should that say "Double-sided"? (Took me a minute... my brain instantly thought double sized (2048x2048) textures, then got stuck on that as I read the rest, then went AWOL.)

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2 hours ago, Jenna Huntsman said:

These won't be supported at launch for PBR, namely because they don't form part of the base glTF spec.

Hmmm. It's beginning to look to me that this is quite a way from PBR in the true meaning of the term. PBR stands for Phyics (or Physicals) Based Rendering. The idea is to make things look more like RL by basing the  rendering not on how things look there but on the physical laws that make things look the way they do there. Then again, RL is overrated if you ask me. It's so complicated it takes years for a new user to learn even the basics and the developers never accept, let alone process, bug reports. The only reason we can't simply close it down is that so many other realities are fundamentally built on that platform.

 

2 hours ago, Jenna Huntsman said:

if you use a specular map to tint the colour of reflected light, as the implementation of PBR at launch cannot do this. (That's not to say it won't ever be able ...

That's ok. Apart from the legacy issues there's hardly any point in keeping both rgb specular maps and a metalness function. Even though there are some differences and both methods have their pros and cons, they are essentially just two ways to skin the same cat.

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4 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Hmmm. It's beginning to look to me that this is quite a way from PBR in the true meaning of the term

PBR in this sense means the game-engine interpretation of PBR, not PBR in the context of something you might find at a scientific lab or at a university. The latter would be way too slow and too complex for pretty much all users.

LL's idea is that SL's PBR will be on par with that of game engines, such as Unreal Engine or Godot. There's a few caveats here and there that creators will need to pay mind to (Some of these will go away in time, as more software adds glTF support), but nothing major.

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4 hours ago, Jenna Huntsman said:

Legacy materials will continue to work as they do today, albeit with some fixes and some non-breaking changes. There will be some things where a legacy material is deemed preferable, for example, if you use a specular map to tint the colour of reflected light, as the implementation of PBR at launch cannot do this. (That's not to say it won't ever be able, but the PBR at launch is targetting the base glTF spec, not any of it's extensions, which may be implemented at a later date)

3 hours ago, Rowan Amore said:

So how does this all effect the average SL user who doesn't create anything?  Will we see things differently than before?  Will items we have such as mesh heads and bodies be effected in a negative way?   

My understanding is that the old way of rendering things will be preserved, and PBR only enabled for objects that are using PBR textures. If that's what they're doing (which would be reasonable considering old content using old textures and can't be automatically updated), old content is unlikely to change much (though it's rarely that simple).

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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