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Velen
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    « on: April 13, 2013, 10:43:36 AM »


    Spec Maps are a relatively new thing being dabbled into with hacks. So I decided to make a small little visual-verbal tutorial about how to make them.

    Velen's Quick Spec Map Example Tutorial

    Preface

    If you want an example of a good specular map. You needn't look farther than good old Captain Falcon, who is the one who gave me the original idea for putting a Spec Map on Poliwrath to try and enhance how it looks in-game. Captain Falcon's Spec Map doesn't show up unless light is shining on it, which is what gives his racing suit the special details and rubber sheen. This tutorial will tell you the basics of making speculars any kind of material at all.

    Ask Yourself: What is the Material your making the Spec Map for?

    This is actually very important, because it will affect how you make the Specular Map. Let's give an example in the dress worn by Jessica Rabbit of Roger Rabbit fame:

    Jessica Rabbit - Why don't you do right

    As you can see from the video, Jessica's dress sparkles no matter how she moves. On a console like the Wii, and in a game like Brawl, this would be something very, very hard to imitate...That does not however, mean that it's impossible. For something like this. You would need a detailed, yet noisy base texture (that is to say, the texture for the body of the model) and several different specular maps layered on top of one another. The complexity of them is up to your discretion. For now. I'll just gives you a basic run down of making a Specular Map.

    Step 1: Open Photoshop, Paint.NET, or GIMP, and create a new document.

    There are several ways to get any of these useful programs. The method you choose to acquire them? Not up to me. This tutorial however will be mainly for PS users. Okay. So, open up a new document in Photoshop...Let's make it 512 x 512, which is about the standard texture-size for all of Brawl's textures. 1024 x 1024 will work too. Choose make the resolution 300 px/in. Title it whatever you want. I just left it without one. Click OK.

    Step 2: Fill your Document with a Gray or Black (Black Recommended)

    Now you have your document. The first thing we're going to do is fill the layer with either black, or dark gray. Since this practice image won't be going on a model. a nice, dark, 80% Gray will suffice. Select the Paint Bucket Tool, use the color settings below, which you can access by double clicking on the color swatches on the Tool Panel. Click OK and fill your Document.



    Step 3: Choose a Shape

    For this tutorial, I'll be keeping things simple, so I'll take the Ellipse Tool, which you can find by clicking a dragging on the Rectangle Tool in the Tool Panel, or by pressing Shift + U (Ctrl + U in Windows) until it becomes visible. Click and drag on your document while holding down the Shift key. It will constrain the proportions of the Ellipse into a circle. Make it any size you want so long as it fills a significant portion of the document. Then click on Layers Panel, there is a Tab in the upper right of it. Click and drag up to New Layer to create a new Later, or you can just press Cmd+Shift+N (Ctrl+Shift+N). There is a tab on the Layers Panel (or there should be) called Paths. Click on this tab, then click on the button that says "Load Path as a Selection". It looks like a circle made of dashed lines (or pixels in this case).






    Step 4: Fill your shape with a Gradient, and Spherize.

    The purpose of filling your shape with a contrasty gradient will become in the next step in the Tutorial. Select the Gradient Tool by clicking and dragging on the Paint Bucket in the Tool Panel, or simply press Shift + G. For this, use black and another brighter color, like red, lime green, or Cyan. Make sure it's set to the Reflect Gradient mode. Then click and drag over the edges of your circle at a diagonal angle. Then deselect by doing Cmd + D (Ctrl + D). Once done go to, go to Filter > Distort > Spherize. If the Filters are grayed out, go to Image > Mode > and drag down to the 8bits/Channel option. Set the Spherize's settings to max with the mode set to Normal, then click OK.








    Step 5: Create a Displacement Map, then Desaturate the original Document.

    Displacement Maps are very handy to have for making speculars, cause they can conform your specular texture to the curvature of specific parts of the original texture, making it look more natural rather than painted on. To create the displacement map. Go to the Channels Tab of the Layers Panel. Click on the Channel that looks like it has the highest contrast. This is what we will be making our displacement map from. Right-click on the selected Channel and select Duplicate Channel. In the Document dropbox, set it to New, and give it a name, like Displace, then click okay. In this new Document. Do Cmd + S (Ctrl + S) to save it as a .PSD. Next, go back to your Document, select the RGB Channel in the Channels tab, then click on the Layers tab so it's selected. Then go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate, which will make it pretty much Black and White.





    Step 6: Adding a texture, then using Displace.

    For the purposes of this tutorial, I will use one of Photoshop's defaults for a texture. Do Cmd+Shift+N to create a new layer, then Shift and Click on the Thumbnail of Layer 2 to select your gradient circle. Click on the button that has a white circle inside a gray square to create a Layer Mask, then click on the chainlink icon to unlink the layer and the mask. This will be very helpful. Next. Do Shift + G to select the Paint Bucket Tool, then go up to the top to the Option Bar. There is a dropbox with the word Foreground in it. click and drag so it says "Pattern" instead. In the swatch box next to that. If you click and drag, you wil probably see a couple default textures. You can use those, or click the little arrow button on the upper right corner to load up some more of PS's default texture packages. I used Herringbone 2 for this Tutorial. On Layer 3, make sure the Layer itself is selected and not the Mask. Then click on the layer with the Paint Bucket to Fill it. Then set it's Blending Mode to Overlay by clicking and dragging. This is where Displace comes into play, go to Filters > Distort > Displace, and you will get the textbox that comes  up. Use the setting indicated by the screencap, then click OK. The result should be the screencap at the bottom. If the difference doesn't seem that great, Do Cmd + F to run the Filter a few more times.








    -and you're done! Now. Making a  detailed specular map for an actual character won't be as easy as this it. It will take time, effort, and a lot of patience. Just keep at it and you'll be done sooner than you think!

    I hope this was helpful!
    « Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 10:57:53 AM by Velen » Logged


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    « Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 11:18:23 AM »


    Oh, cool. I might need to use this tactic whenever I get around to using spec maps. o.o
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    « Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013, 11:41:36 AM »


    Just a quick correction. That's not what a displacement map is. You're doing a displace filter in Photoshop, but it's not really the same thing. A displacement map actually changes the geometry of the model you apply it to. For example, you take a flat cube, apply a brick-pattern displacement map, and then when you go to render, the cube will now have actual brick geometry.
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    « Reply #3 on: April 13, 2013, 02:26:18 PM »


    Just a quick correction. That's not what a displacement map is. You're doing a displace filter in Photoshop, but it's not really the same thing. A displacement map actually changes the geometry of the model you apply it to. For example, you take a flat cube, apply a brick-pattern displacement map, and then when you go to render, the cube will now have actual brick geometry.


    I'm afraid you're incorrect here.

    The term Displacement Map in this context has to do with what the Displace filter uses to displace what it's being used on. Whether it be a face, or a sphere. It uses the .PSD created from the channel as a sort of map in order to displace the image pixels over the simulated curvature of the image via shading and light levels. Hence the use of the term.
    « Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 02:27:36 PM by Velen » Logged


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    « Reply #4 on: April 13, 2013, 08:13:05 PM »


    I looked it up and you're right. Photoshop uses the term "Displacement Map" for this process you've done. That's terribly confusing of them, since the term "Displacement Map" is much older, and is used to displace polygons in a 3D render.

    I simply intended to prevent people from thinking the displacement map they create here is the same thing they'd apply to a 3D model, since the whole purpose of this tutorial is to create a specular map to apply to a model.
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    « Reply #5 on: April 13, 2013, 08:23:12 PM »


    I looked it up and you're right. Photoshop uses the term "Displacement Map" for this process you've done. That's terribly confusing of them, since the term "Displacement Map" is much older, and is used to displace polygons in a 3D render.

    I simply intended to prevent people from thinking the displacement map they create here is the same thing they'd apply to a 3D model, since the whole purpose of this tutorial is to create a specular map to apply to a model.


    It's fine. Really. I just people find this useful for making their own speculars.
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