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Author Topic: [Resolved] normal and spec maps  (Read 6780 times)

Rissa2002

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[Resolved] normal and spec maps
« on: Aug 02, 11, 06:29:18 PM »

the only thing i see on wiki says these go together, is there a better or different how to make offered? ive searched thru art tuts and tex tuts alrdy and there isnt alot of info there.

i did find one once that the spec info goes into the alpha channel of the normal bump tex but when i do that i get a massive black white texture that drowns out my diffuse tex. and of course now i cant find that wiki spot again as its not listed under the tuts or linked to the wiki textures that are linked to the tuts under Art ie textures, how to create hero material.

also noticed that Normal maps with mip levels is linked under C cont not sure if that was a mistake but i woulda thought it be under N for Normals lol

http://hewiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Category:Art
« Last Edit: Oct 26, 12, 03:06:31 PM by HE-Cooper »
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Stadi_Thompson

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Re: normal and spec maps
« Reply #1 on: Aug 03, 11, 10:01:28 AM »

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Redeye

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Re: normal and spec maps
« Reply #2 on: Aug 03, 11, 02:48:47 PM »

This might help..

Normal Maps have a Spec Map placed inside their alpha channel.
For naming .. something like "filename_ns.dds" is fine to let others know it's both a normal with alpha spec

You can adjust the control of each map inside the texture panel.

Not sure on what you mean you have a all black texture. But make sure you didn't place it in your diffuse alpha channel as this is normally for transparent maps.

One last thing to check..
After you place the Hero Shader on your model and go to setup the Normal Map file.. there is a check box to state Specular in alpha channel of normal.. make sure you check that box before picking the file..

hope this helps

one more last thing too.. make sure your directory of where you load from with textures and model are setup the say way when you use repository.

example

((your computer directory))

F:\he\art\buildings\factory

((Inside the repository))

..\he\art\buildings\factory

both mesh and textures should be 100% the same directory naming system.. when both exporting and importing.


« Last Edit: Aug 03, 11, 02:53:53 PM by Redeye »
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Rissa2002

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Re: normal and spec maps
« Reply #3 on: Aug 07, 11, 12:13:19 PM »

thank you both for posting i've been out sick a few days and only been working thru the wiki while having a stuffy brain lol.

what im looking more for on info is what levels i guess are good for brightness/contrast.

the set up isnt so much a problem i did work my way thru those.. but when i use the spec map my texture with is a blackish looking rock to start with ends up a silver and black texture.. seems the shinyness is way to much but after several attempts to dim it down i get no change to its look. what i was trying for on that model was a sheen like marble i got it in 3ds max material editor using their system but hero material wont use that systems mats.

if someone who already understands the spec lvls for the hero mat way can post some sort of ref chart it would go along way to helping others understand whats needed i think..

ie for shiny dark colors range of brightness/contrast lvls.

one question i had is the spec in alpha channel is supposed to be a copy of the normal map in greyscale?
i went to paste the normal into the alpha and it changed on its own from the rgb colors to shades of grey.
or was i supposed to open my diffuse and paste that?
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Taschenmogul

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Re: normal and spec maps
« Reply #4 on: Aug 08, 11, 11:48:53 AM »

Hm, thatīs a tricky thing, unless Iīve overlooked something myself that is.

Last question first - no.
The spec in the normalmaps alpha channel is a greyscale image, sure, but it is not supposed to be a greyscale version of the normal map.
Please pardon me if I should tell you things you already know, but Iīll sketch out the principle quickly:
A normal 24Bit RGB image consist of three channels R, G and B with a range of 8 Bit each, that is 256 possible values for each channel, then combined to form the (8Bit times three) 24 Bit color image.
The alpha channel is just this - one channel, again with a range of 256 values, that is, 8 Bit.
Thus the image that you put in the alpha channel only has these 8Bit to use and thus can only be a greyscale image.
These 24 Bit of color information plus the 8 Bit of transparency information then combine to a total of 32 Bit.
So when, say, your graphicscard drivers tells you it uses 32Bit colors this means that it uses 24Bit color information plus the 8Bit alpha channel.

Now back to the spec channel.
Here you have a 32 Bit image file which uses three 8 Bit channels R, G and B to store the normal map and the one 8 Bit channel that is normally reserved for the transparency information to store the specularity information.
What you now store in this alpha channel is the amount of reflectivity at the respective pixel on your texture.
Black equals zero equals no reflectivity, white equals one equals 100% reflectivity.
So if you want an object to have mirror-like reflectivity you would just fill the entire image with white, if you only want parts of it to be reflective, you only paint those parts in a none-black brightness value.
This can but doesnīt have to be completely independent of the normal map.
Say you have a texture with little bumps on the surface and you want it to look like those bumps have been polished over time because they are protruding and come into contact with other objects much more often.
In this case you would paint a light grey or even white in the spec channel that is the alpha channel of your normal map image, at the position where there are those bumps on the normal map.

One thing that you can do in a raytracing application but cannot do in HE is setting the color of this reflectivity. The color of the reflection, that is what is reflected by the object, rather is determined by the area's skybox (if Iīm not completely mistaken here; so anybody correct me if Iīm wrong).
So if you got reflectivity up to 50% the respective part of the object is colored 50% by itīs diffuse color/texture and 50% by the reflected color/texture that is determined by the areaīs skybox.

Now how do you set reflectivity to 50%?
As said, if the specularity channel is filled with black that means 0% reflectivity, white means 100% - so for 50% reflectivity you would have to use a 50% grey, or in numbers a value of 127 for the brightness.
You can of course make a simple table for your personal lookup, just take the maximum value of 255 (8 Bit means 256 seperate values, but counting starts at 0 so min and max value are not 1 and 256 but 0 and 255) and calculate the respective values (255 * 0.1 for the value you need to put in for 10% reflectivity, and so on).

Sadly there is no more intuitive way to set this, though I guess something might be coming up with the FBX import functionality that may be incorporated later this year (or perhaps next year, nothing definite has been said about it).

Hope I could help you a bit and didnīt explain things you already knew because I misunderstood you.
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Rissa2002

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Re: normal and spec maps
« Reply #5 on: Aug 08, 11, 03:41:13 PM »

info is good thanks but seems my execution is missing sumthing still

gonna try to upload a screenie to show whats going on maybe can help that way to find where i am going so wrong on this test
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Taschenmogul

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Re: normal and spec maps
« Reply #6 on: Aug 08, 11, 05:45:22 PM »

I honestly canīt really see what you did there and why that (whatever it should be) looks like it does.
Is that an object in the viewscreen and, if yes, how does the texture that you used look, etc.?
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Rissa2002

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Re: normal and spec maps
« Reply #7 on: Aug 08, 11, 06:17:44 PM »

here is the original bed in game without spec map added
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Rissa2002

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Re: normal and spec maps
« Reply #8 on: Aug 08, 11, 06:19:12 PM »

and here is what it looked like in max, the faint sheen of polished rock is what im looking to get here or least a bit closer then the dullness i so far have versus the huge shiny i got with the spec map added lol.

« Last Edit: Aug 08, 11, 06:23:41 PM by Rissa2002 »
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jcsmith562

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Re: normal and spec maps
« Reply #9 on: Aug 09, 11, 02:06:29 AM »

You need to darken your specular map if it's showing up overbright in game. I've noticed that compared to other engines I've used, Hero Engine expects a much darker specular map. Load it up in Photoshop (or whatever art program), and darken it and adjust it's contrast so it's generally pretty dark and the results will look much better in game.
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Stadi_Thompson

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Re: normal and spec maps
« Reply #10 on: Aug 09, 11, 12:22:43 PM »

Adjusting the area lighting's "intensity" can change a specular's appearance. The default lighting is pretty bright. I typically, leave the specular maps as is (no adjusting), export it into Hero, and lower the lighting intensity until it looks like it does in Max viewport. By doing this you now get a 1:1 look of what you have in Max and don't have to worry about tweaking specular maps. Thus all you models' specular will be consistent with what you exported from Max.
« Last Edit: Aug 09, 11, 12:25:23 PM by info360covers »
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Taschenmogul

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Re: normal and spec maps
« Reply #11 on: Aug 09, 11, 02:41:35 PM »

One thing that should probably be added is that - as far as I know (!) - there are practically only two shaders for use with normal objects in HeroCloud.
One would be the standard shader, one would be the hair shader, that should (I havenīt tried yet) also be applicable to any object, not only hairs, probably giving (anisotropic) tangent shading.
And as far as I know (please correct me if I should be wrong, cause I would LOVE to be wrong here!) you donīt have any possibility to change the size or the hardness of the specular lobe like you could in a raytracing application.
It AFAIK also is not possible to define specularity (or diffuse color/intensity) based on viewangle or stuff like that.

Just sayinī cause that means that you wonīt be able to reproduce every material/look that you can produce with 3ds Max's normal shaders/materials.
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GARDrealms9

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Re: normal and spec maps
« Reply #12 on: Feb 13, 12, 02:36:42 AM »

Quote
You need to darken your specular map if it's showing up overbright in game. I've noticed that compared to other engines I've used, Hero Engine expects a much darker specular map. Load it up in Photoshop (or whatever art program), and darken it and adjust it's contrast so it's generally pretty dark and the results will look much better in game.

I am sorry but I am having the same problem.

How do you darken the specular map? In 3ds Hero material parameter’s it looks like Normal map and Specular are combined….?







When I import this in heroengine it looks like a light bulb.




« Last Edit: Feb 13, 12, 02:39:14 AM by GARDrealms9 »
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PN-Dwight

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Re: normal and spec maps
« Reply #13 on: Feb 13, 12, 03:37:55 AM »

Normals and speculars can both be used in HE.

To darken it:
 - Click on the object and go to its properties in the Properties window
 - There you see 2 options (on top) to change its colours. Experiment with those 2 :)

The other option is to make it  more dark in photoshop.

Stadi_Thompson

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Re: normal and spec maps
« Reply #14 on: Feb 13, 12, 11:21:03 AM »

Quote
You need to darken your specular map if it's showing up overbright in game. I've noticed that compared to other engines I've used, Hero Engine expects a much darker specular map. Load it up in Photoshop (or whatever art program), and darken it and adjust it's contrast so it's generally pretty dark and the results will look much better in game.

I am sorry but I am having the same problem.

How do you darken the specular map? In 3ds Hero material parameter’s it looks like Normal map and Specular are combined….?








When I import this in heroengine it looks like a light bulb.







you are using the default light setting in the screenshot you post, as said in previous post you will need to adjust that, the front color should never be 100% white in most case, try a mild gray. Also lower the default light intensity. Also ambient/diffuse lighting is much prettier and more consistent. Hero's lighting is pretty nice, gives you a lot of flexibilty, afte 2 year of production I still haven't settled on a final look, so many options haha.
« Last Edit: Feb 13, 12, 11:40:45 AM by Stadi_Thompson »
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