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Creating specular maps with nDo?

Pendraia

Seasoned
Contributing Artist
I believe it's possible to use this part of the suite to create specular maps from normals...does anyone know of a tutorial for this?
 

jan19

Enthusiast
Hey, Pen -- open up nDo. On the drop-down/pull-out menu (right side), one of the options is "Map Converter." Choose Map Converter, then click Normal on the left, Spec on the right, then File at the bottom to bring in the normal map you want to convert.

nDo will do its thing, and you'll see a grayscale map entitled "Specular." :) You'll also see options to adjust the various components. Flatten the map when you are happy with it.

I hope this helps.
 

Pendraia

Seasoned
Contributing Artist
Yay! Thanks Jan...I'm sure it will. I was going to try this tutorial on using Zbrush but I think nDo will do a better job!
 

Pendraia

Seasoned
Contributing Artist
I'm working on it. Probably not doing it as well as it could be done but hey...beginner here! Lol...I have a face map done. Now I need to do the rest of the body and see if there are any seams.
 

jan19

Enthusiast
I don't know what characteristics a good spec map should have -- lighter where the skin is supposed to be shiny, I'd guess. Or vice-versa?

I guess that's what Google is for. :)
 

Pendraia

Seasoned
Contributing Artist
Well I don't think mine look right. So I'm going to have a look at a few different textures.
 

Lissa_xyz

I break polygons.
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Pendraia

Seasoned
Contributing Artist
Thanks Vaskania...I knew that much that generally they are black and white but I thought I'd seen colours used in specular settings sometimes also. And light means shiny.

Thanks for the link...I had found a tutorial for doing them in Zbrush but there were also criticisms of using that method. I'm currently trying to create my own and I'm looking at other textures as a guide for where the highlights need to be.

I'm thinking though that specular maps may be a bit like baked in highlights and are possibly something that a good shader would do better.
 

Lissa_xyz

I break polygons.
From what I've seen, the specular colour is the colour of the highlight itself, while the map is simply for strength, similar to a metalness map- it'll tell the shader how shiny something should be, but won't dictate the colour of the shine itself.
 

Pendraia

Seasoned
Contributing Artist
That is my understanding also Vaskania...I have actually used colour settings in shadermixer for specular...I forget to mention that earlier as I was just waking up.
 

RAMWolff

Wolff Playing with Beez!
Contributing Artist
So Pen, your making use of Quixel pretty well? I think my next project I'll dive in. Looks SORT OF intuitive but you know, you get used to a work flow.... yadda yadda yadda.... lol
 

Ken1171

Wise
Contributing Artist
Specular maps are something that tend to be missing, or were poorly made in a lot of Poser products. Personally, I think it makes more sense on skin, hair, and props than on clothing, though. Character renders rarely look realistic without a decent specular map, because the human skin doesn't shine the same way everywhere, and lips always need special treatment to look right.

Unfortunately, the majority of the Poser character textures I have don't have any specular maps, or those were created by simply desaturating the diffuse map. In short, good specular maps are rare nowadays.
 

Pendraia

Seasoned
Contributing Artist
I'm more comfortable with nDo than the texturing part of it. I need some time to sit down and really watch some tutorials. I've been busy trying to get Diva finished. Now that I've bought it though I need to be able to use it...

I ended up making my own maps. I did start with desaturating the maps but then I did some work on darkening them and added layers of hand painting the lighter areas. I wasn't happy with the maps I got from the normals. I did use some maps that I thought looked good as a guide for which areas needed the painting but I also kept it very soft contrast. I'm not sure that specular shouldn't be more part of the shader than mapping. I need to do more research on it...
 
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