Using Specular Maps
Blender 3D Tutorial
April 13, 2008 2:06 am
Using a Specular map is easy. It's the same as using a 'Nor' map. You could use the same image for both to achieve good results or you could go into more detail. A good example of a custom specular map might be if you're trying to achieve the look of water that has just streaked down an object. The areas that are wet will be shinier than the rest of an object.
For now, I'll just go over how to load and use a specular map simply using a gray scale image of the texture.
The sample image at the top of this tutorial was created using
just the 3 textures above. A texture map, a Transparency Map and a
gray scale map for the 'Normals' (Bump) and Specular.
I selected all of my vertexes and press 'W' to bring up the
I selected 'Sub Divide Multi' and entered 4 for the number of
Next, I selected a few random vertexes around the edge of the
grid. I'm going to pull these down a bit just to give the leaves a
little bit of shape. The Orange Circle near the bottom right shows
that I have the Proportional Edit Falloff set to on. Once I press
'G' now to grab the vertexes, I can roll the mouse wheel to adjust
the range of the Falloff.
The circle indicates the range of the Fall off. Neighboring
vertexes within this range will be moved as well in proportion to
how close they are to one of the selected vertexes.
Now that the model for the leaf is ready to go, let's apply the textures. Each texture can be added here, under the Texture Buttons (F6):
Just click the 'Add New' button. Give your texture a name.
For the Texture Type, select Image. Then load your image under
the tab labeled 'Image'. Click the folder icon to search for your
Here you can see my 3 images loaded and ready. For my transparency map, I clicked the 'Alpha' button under the 'Preview' tab so I could see a sample of the transparency effect.
Each texture is applied as shown below under the Materials Buttons. First, a new material is create by pressing 'Add New'.
The 'Ztransp' button is turned on so that the background objects
will be visible. The 'Alpha' slider is adjusted all the way down to
allow our Alpha map to do it's job.
Select each texture under the 'Texture Tab' in order to adjust each one's settings under the 'Map To' tab and 'Map Input' tabs.
For each texture, I clicked the UV button under their 'Map Input' tabs to use our UV mapping that we created.
(For my Texture map, I left the default selection of 'Col' under the 'Map To' tab to apply this texture to the objects color.)
For the Specular Map, I de-selected the 'Col' button and
selected the 'Nor' button and 'Spec' button to apply my image to
the Normal Map (bump) and the Specular mapping. I also turned up
the 'Nor' slider from the default of .5 to 5.0 . The default of .5
just doesn't give me enough 'bump'.
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Scott [Reddog9] is a licensed electrician in Vancouver, WA. Studied in several programming languages, including Fortran, Pascal, Basic, Python, Java script, HTML. Into SciFi, BSG, Starwars, UFO Hunters, Ghost Hunters, Destination Truth, Who's line is it Anyway, PS2, Sailing, Pizza, Victorian Architecture and all of the good things of the Middle Ages. Single father to princess Hannah, the heiress to my kingdom and all of my treasures. I enjoy spending most of my free time 'playing' with Blender. Is there anything you can't do with this program? I love finding new tricks and techniques to use in my modeling. There's so much fun in creating something from nothing. I spend quite a bit of time learning different ways of using Blender's Game Engine. A couple of things I'm working on now is a cross-country vehicle sim and a 'Blenderized' version of the classic Battleship game. It's hard to stay focused on one project sometimes. Be sure to check out Scott's Renderosity Gallery, tutorials and Freestuff, as well as his personal Web Site.
April 28, 2008
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