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Question about Specular Maps?
Posted: 06 November 2012 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Are specular maps applied best to Glossiness or to Color in Studio?

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Posted: 06 November 2012 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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or to Strength. It depends on what they are for - Glossiness will vary the size of the highlight, the roughness of the surface, colour will vary the colour of the reflection, as for changing materials, and Strength will vary how bright the highlight is. Often both Glossiness and Strength would tend to vary together, colour would vary less often for a single material surface.

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Posted: 06 November 2012 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Lets say when applied to M4

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Posted: 06 November 2012 09:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Again, it depends on the map. The nose and forehead, for example, tend to have both stronger and slightly larger specular highlights than the cheeks or the eyesockets, so ideally there would be two maps - one for specular strength and one for specular size (Glossiness), though 99% of the time a Specular map is usually used for either strength or color interchangeably.

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Posted: 06 November 2012 10:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Wow that is a big help. Thanks guys.

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Posted: 06 November 2012 11:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Specular maps are often grey-scale versions of the dif texture, levels slightly adjusted… Some however are inverted… Which is the best for realism? Grey-scale or Inverted Grey-scale? The same is true for bump textures as well. (I do understand why hair needs to be inverted on bumps)

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Posted: 07 November 2012 03:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The first thing I do when starting a new character render is to remove all spec maps…I don’t use them at all these days. IMHO if the lighting is good then they are not needed. But this is just my opinion from expreience, what little I have. smile

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Posted: 07 November 2012 11:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Spyro - 06 November 2012 11:39 PM

Specular maps are often grey-scale versions of the dif texture, levels slightly adjusted… Some however are inverted… Which is the best for realism? Grey-scale or Inverted Grey-scale? The same is true for bump textures as well. (I do understand why hair needs to be inverted on bumps)

Neither - both are actually BAD types of those maps. A proper specular map, for example, would have brighter colors on the forehead and nose, darker around the jaw area, and such, with pores a lot stronger dark presence than on the diffuse map. The bump map, on the other hand, should be specifically designed as such, because just desaturating the diffuse might make the pores sink in, but would also make eyebrows, facial hair, and the like sink in, while inverting might make facial hair and eyebrows pop, but will also make pores pop.

Szark - 07 November 2012 03:09 AM

The first thing I do when starting a new character render is to remove all spec maps…I don’t use them at all these days. IMHO if the lighting is good then they are not needed. But this is just my opinion from expreience, what little I have. smile

Lighting can’t change the fact that the brow and nose should be shinier than the jawline (just as an example). Not using a specular map MIGHT be doable for longer range renders, but it REALLY detracts from the realism of a portrait render, unless the specular map is one of the above-mentioned “just the diffuse desaturated and played with” which are unrealistic to begin with.

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Posted: 08 November 2012 04:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I do appreciate that Val but from what I see of many Specs maps they aren’t worth a damm. Some of the skin textures sets sold here are pretty poor when it comes to bump and spec maps. I don’t do many portraits but the ones I have done have no spec maps loaded. See my sig, first page of my render thread, the pipe smoking one has no spec maps used.I added a small amount of reflection to the skin, nice shiny nose and dull chin for example. smile

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Posted: 08 November 2012 05:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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It does seem like many bump maps are commonly neglected for quality. Most you buy are nasty when you attempt a close up render :( I usually have to heavily modify them in Photoshop to get them to a suitable state.

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Posted: 08 November 2012 06:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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When it comes to character sets you’ll find that every map is garbage, even the diffuse maps as they are out of scale with each other, which gives you a high res face, medium-low res limbs and a low res torso. The secondary maps like spec & bump have far to much information in the map to be of any real use, things like nipples, navel, eyes, rib shading etc, in the case of bump it should be a uniform color (in DS that means medium gray) with just the things that are meant to affect the mesh ie pores, scars, wrinkles on the dark gray side, and spots, warts, moles and hair on the light gray side.

All I’ll say on SSS is that it’s fine for the webbing between the fingers & toes and the cartilage areas like the nose & ears, but pretty useless every where else.

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Posted: 08 November 2012 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Bejaymac - 08 November 2012 06:12 AM

When it comes to character sets you’ll find that every map is garbage, even the diffuse maps as they are out of scale with each other, which gives you a high res face, medium-low res limbs and a low res torso. The secondary maps like spec & bump have far to much information in the map to be of any real use, things like nipples, navel, eyes, rib shading etc, in the case of bump it should be a uniform color (in DS that means medium gray) with just the things that are meant to affect the mesh ie pores, scars, wrinkles on the dark gray side, and spots, warts, moles and hair on the light gray side.

A quick fix…take the map into an editor and adjust the levels to get the 127 grey…

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