View Full Version : Specular Color Map question

01-25-2009, 07:14 PM
Hi guys,

I usually apply white and black colours to do a specular map, but I've seen others specular maps with colours like green, yellow, brown and others. I'd like to know which and why are these the colours that must be applied for a specular map for a skin of monster or person.


01-25-2009, 08:30 PM
Let me just guess wildly (because it's all that I can do).

When you make your maps you are thinking specular amount. Everybody knows specularity is levels kind of thing: very specular, not so specular.

But specular really is a color thing. Most everything we interact with just bounces light right back and the color of the highlight is based on the color of the light source. Blue snooker ball, white highlight. Pink baby, white highlight. Purple pizza, white highlight. Gold ring, yellow highliii.... wait a sec. Did he say _yellow_ highlight?

Indeed, he did. Metals are famous for returning a coloured specular highlight. So if you want to model an emerald copper dragon forged in the fires of Aetna, a living wonder of metal and magic.... you may want some colored specularity to suggest a metalic composition.

See attached. Two default 3ds Max standard materials with a dirty yellow color. Some specularity. One with default white specularity the other with a version of its diffuse color. Both have had a raytrace reflection added and the had that tinted yellow. I won't argue that either are great materials but I think you can see that one is maybe a little more like gold metal than the other.

Of course, it may be done for entirely other reasons as well. SERIOUSLY guessing, maybe there's an excellent way to fake sub-surface scattering with a low bright specular map of your internal scatter color or some other actual reason that somebody else will mention.

01-31-2009, 09:19 AM
there is two kind of specular map:
1 specular color which is on color.
2 specular intensity which is black and white.

specular color defines the color of reflection light and specular intensity defines the level of reflection.
if you use 3Ds max there are 2 slot for these maps in each material slot.

01-31-2009, 10:02 AM
Thanks people!!

I think I understand it, sorry for my english, I'm going to practise it now


02-01-2009, 03:06 AM
Thanks for the correction Farhad.

02-01-2009, 04:49 AM
you are welcome,

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