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Old 13-12-2010, 01:39 PM   #1
Sircharles
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Default Specular, Normal, Dirt

Hi Im new enough to 3d but am always wondering about the importance of these files. I have never used any of them in my models to date. Could someone just run down briefly what each does and which is more important. Id really appreciate it.

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Old 13-12-2010, 05:26 PM   #2
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A specular map displays the parts of a model that will reflect light in a certain way. If you had some scratches on metal, you could use a specular map to influence the shininess of different areas.
Normal maps are like bump maps, except they work using more info. That's a really simplified explanation, but I think it's correct (?).
Dirt? No idea, I think dirt usually gets added just in the texture and bump maps.
Of these, I think specular is important if you want the shininess of your model to be unevenly distributed. Normal maps are important for game models I think, or basically if you want increased detail without adding too much geometry, like a bump map. Hope that helps.
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Old 13-12-2010, 08:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by stwert View Post
Normal maps are like bump maps, except they work using more info. That's a really simplified explanation, but I think it's correct (?).
very simple stripped down explanation of it but it's correct
they are faster to evaluate than bump maps
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Old 13-12-2010, 09:25 PM   #4
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The most under rated of the maps mentioned is the specular map, every surface has some kinder of specular and if you get the spec component right on your material it will go a long way to creating realism and the most important map in my opinion.
The choice between Bump and Normal map really depends on the model itself and its intended use, a bump may suffice from a distance but may not stand up to very close scrutiny and a normal map would be an improvement.If you are going really close up you might consider a bump/normal map in conjunction with a displacement map.
a Displacement map actually alters (displaces) the geometry at render time and can be viewed from any angle where as a bump can only be viewed from the angle facing the camera and is more an illusion of bumpiness (an example might be something like a brick viewed close up, the front of the brick would appear to have a roughness but the edges viewed head on would not be rough at all and be perfectly straight).
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Old 13-12-2010, 11:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by stwert View Post
?).
Dirt? No idea, I think dirt usually gets added just in the texture and bump maps.
dirt map could refer to the dirtmap node in mental ray... works the same way as an occlusion, but is faster i believe. (i still dont use it, but know some people who like it.)
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Old 14-12-2010, 10:01 AM   #6
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i think the dirt map was done in a tutorial I saw. They used a red point light overhead to cast light on the object. Then somehow took that information into photoshop and used it to create a dirty area in the texture. But wasn't sure if it was popular or even used?
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