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Specular maps


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So I finally mastered (somewhat) the art of creating specular maps, AO maps, height maps and all that. Now my question is, how do I use for example a specular map in Unity? (Yeah yeah I know I probably should have figured that part out first :P). When I set the shader to "Specular" or "Bumped specular" in Unity I only get 2 texture slots. Logic would dictate that one slot is for the diffure texture and the other for the normal map. Where to I put the specular map?

I have read something about alpha channels and RGB and so on, but that makes absolutely no sence to me. I was hoping it was as easy as simply dropping a specular map into a texture slot and that was it, but I guess not.

Are there any KSP specific tutorials on how to do what I am failing to do? I want some of my fuel tanks to look more shiny and reflective, but not to the degree that the reflective module from Texture Replacer makes them. Simply setting the shader to specular and using the diffuse map makes the parts look like plastic rather than metallic.

Thanks! :)

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I am no expert here, BUT I think that you somehow have to combine the specular map with your diffuse colour, so you need to adjust RGB, intensity, transparency for areas you want to be more shiny. That's the only way I think you can right now control the look of the texture a little bit, but that's the only thing I know. 

 

When Squad will finally (I hope/think in KSP 1.2?) include the new Unity shaders, we will be able to do Specular Maps etc. I have no idea why they haven't included these new shaders with KSP 1.1. But if you take a unity shader, not a ksp one, you'll see slots for specular map for example.

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53 minutes ago, Kartoffelkuchen said:

I am no expert here, BUT I think that you somehow have to combine the specular map with your diffuse colour, so you need to adjust RGB, intensity, transparency for areas you want to be more shiny. That's the only way I think you can right now control the look of the texture a little bit, but that's the only thing I know. 

 

When Squad will finally (I hope/think in KSP 1.2?) include the new Unity shaders, we will be able to do Specular Maps etc. I have no idea why they haven't included these new shaders with KSP 1.1. But if you take a unity shader, not a ksp one, you'll see slots for specular map for example.

Right, that is what I feared. I don't understand the whole RGB alpha channel mumbo jumbo :P Where do I find these values, how do I adjust them and how do I combine my specular map with my diffuse map? 

I was so happy when I finally figured out how to make all these fancy maps, and now I can't use them. Guess I'm back to square one :P Thanks for taking the time to answer though!

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I'm hesitant to add anything because I'm not sure that specular maps and the thing I do is the same thing. If you've ever looked at a texture and noticed that most of it is invisible or nearly-invisible to the naked eye, that's an alpha blend (I think), and that's how I make things shiny or dull.

I use GIMP, so I don't know how similar the process is in other editing software.

First I will create a new transparent layer on top of my texture. On this new transparent layer I will draw (or area fill, mostly) areas in varying degrees of opaque white. 99% opacity will result in the shiniest of area, 1% in the dullest. 100% and 0% have always resulted in a blank spot on the texture for me. Anyhow, once you've drawn or otherwise denoted your shiny versus dull areas, create a layer mask on THIS layer and select "greyscale copy of layer".

Now create a layer mask on your texture layer, and select White or Full Opacity. Select the layer mask from the specular map layer, copy it, and paste it onto the texture layer mask. Presto, you've got an alpha-blended texture for use with KSP shaders.

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You'll see RGB(A) in the material if the texture slot makes use of the Alpha channel. either for controlling Opacity or Specular. If it controls Specular, White = Shiny; Black = Matte; grays = inbetween.

Alpha is another 8bit channel to store texture information just like RGB channels. nothing special about it. It's much better if you consider RGBA as individual 8bit grayscale channels that shaders use to do different things. in standard RGB you get what you'd expect, the channels combine to give you a nice looking texture. But there's no limitation on how the shader might use the channels. Take the old KerbPaint (or Lilleman's PBR shader mod) for example, each channel in the mask texture can be used as masks in the shader to tint the base texture, but if you just look at the mask texture in an editor without looking at the individual channels, it looks like hot topic neon mess.

 

 

Edited by nli2work
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Which package are you using for creating your maps? Photoshop doesn't treat alpha channel(s) as anything special whereas GIMP used to at least force you to treat the top alpha channel as transparency. If it's PS you can just load your source image, select all, copy & paste into whichever channel you want of your destination ( as nli said, effects controls generally end up in the alpha channel ).

Make sure you're using the KSP* shaders, btw.

Edited by Van Disaster
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