Author Topic: Specularmap thing again.  (Read 1564 times)

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Offline Nyctaeus

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Specularmap thing again.
I feel like a little bit lost in that case. Newer FSO builds are PBR based and handles no specular, but is there any option to enable classic specular maps instead of reflect? I know there was lot of discussion about that matter but I cannot find anything significant. Reflect mapping works differently than classic specular, but specular mapping was used for years before PBR came. Now there is a problem with compatibility of bigger mods.

Exile work on newest nightly, but all maps are still adapted for specular mapping so I plan to release it under 3.7.4 final. Anyway I still wish to use newer features. With thousands of textures adapted to specular mapping I'm unable to convert to PBR standard so I'm stuck with 3.7.4.

Could some kind soul explain me that matter?
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 06:56:52 pm by Nyctaeus »
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Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: Specularmap thing again.
Any ship lacking PBR textures will still use the old specular maps automatically.
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Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Specularmap thing again.
Current nightly uses nothing, and it's long-term problem. It's just diffuse, glow and normal. Newer builds seems to ignore any specular maps I have in usage. When I open a mod on 3.7.4 final without any other changes, all specular are present.
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Offline The E

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Re: Specularmap thing again.
The specular map effect is still there, it's just no longer as apparent.

Without specmap:



With specmap:



Without specmap and post-processing:



With specmap and no post-processing:

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Offline chief1983

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Re: Specularmap thing again.
I took some shots of the Orion the other day.  http://imgur.com/a/4Vg4l

I've been mostly concerned that since the PBR merge, if we don't update the MediaVPs to take it into account, we'll have an experience that is less pretty than with 3.7.4 when we release 3.8.  Generally speaking, the appearance of most ships with all the eye candy enabled currently seems less impressive now than it was.  I understand if we can't make the engine render older models as well as it did before, without changes to their textures, but should we release 3.8 without the MediaVPs being updated yet?  There aren't a lot of good setting combinations that make the Orion's side not look like a mirror.  Post-processing being enabled seems to wash out most of what the specular map does.  With it disabled, the overall brightness seems to drop to more reasonable levels.  I had thought that #1136 might have had an effect here but the Orion still looks pretty glassy in the ship lab.

Full disclosure though, these tests were performed on my Mac.  I still have warnings during shader compilation, even though it is now using OpenGL 4.1 (Intel Iris Pro).  There's a chance I'm not seeing what everyone else is seeing if those warnings aren't happening for anyone else.  I thought that Swifty might have been planning to address those after we finally fixed the CMake setup for Macs, but I don't think I've seen much on that particular front, as he's probably busy with his real job.  Should the warnings warrant a separate github issue?  I already have #969 open which is essentially for deferred lighting not working on Macs yet.  But shader compilation isn't tied to that I didn't think?
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Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Specularmap thing again.
...but spacular was great :(!

Sorry for attaching things, but Tinypic is giving me cancer today. I attached science ship from Exile from 3.7.4 final and recent nightly. Specularmap is present indeed, but I'm kinda terrified how much this model lost because of new settings. All the dirty, metal look she used to have is now gone, and it looks like polished plastic. Plus I'm unable to use brighter light settings with different spec_tube to avoid mirror effect.

Adjust your textures to PBR - you will say. Learn new thing you will say, but there are thousands of textures still in usage. Not only in Exile, but also in other mods. Plus some of the best models ever released benefits mostly from excellent specular maps, like Steve-O's fighterpack.

I cannot force you guys to change things, but for backward compatibility old way of rendering specular maps must be restored. If not, it will be a reason for people to stay on older builds.

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 11:22:53 am by Nyctaeus »
MY PRODUCTIONS
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MY RELEASED CONTENT SO FAR
Old Conversions | GTSD Anchorage | ORFg Tychicus | GTCa Sagittarius | SCv Scylla | EFC Evangelist | EFFg Solomon | GTL Latona | SC Raguel | PVD Atum | GTCv Eurynome

CURRENT PROJECTS
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Want to know what's coming? Check my WIP Mods Thread!

I used to be known here as Betrayal. I'm 3D Modeller, Texture Artist, Model Converter, General Modder, Tabeler, Storyline Consultant and Wiki Maintainer. Sorry for my bad english.

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Re: Specularmap thing again.
I took some shots of the Orion the other day.  http://imgur.com/a/4Vg4l

I've been mostly concerned that since the PBR merge, if we don't update the MediaVPs to take it into account, we'll have an experience that is less pretty than with 3.7.4 when we release 3.8.  Generally speaking, the appearance of most ships with all the eye candy enabled currently seems less impressive now than it was.  I understand if we can't make the engine render older models as well as it did before, without changes to their textures, but should we release 3.8 without the MediaVPs being updated yet?  There aren't a lot of good setting combinations that make the Orion's side not look like a mirror.  Post-processing being enabled seems to wash out most of what the specular map does.  With it disabled, the overall brightness seems to drop to more reasonable levels.  I had thought that #1136 might have had an effect here but the Orion still looks pretty glassy in the ship lab.

Full disclosure though, these tests were performed on my Mac.  I still have warnings during shader compilation, even though it is now using OpenGL 4.1 (Intel Iris Pro).  There's a chance I'm not seeing what everyone else is seeing if those warnings aren't happening for anyone else.  I thought that Swifty might have been planning to address those after we finally fixed the CMake setup for Macs, but I don't think I've seen much on that particular front, as he's probably busy with his real job.  Should the warnings warrant a separate github issue?  I already have #969 open which is essentially for deferred lighting not working on Macs yet.  But shader compilation isn't tied to that I didn't think?

Yeah, this was a pretty major concern I had with PBR. HLP absolutely does not have the manpower to upgrade the existing stable of models to work properly with PBR. Unless it can degrade gracefully when using pre-PBR assets, it will amount to a net graphical downgrade. I was assured by DahBlount that this had been addressed and that old assets wouldn't have giant mirror polygons reflecting speculars like they're made of cardboard, but it sounds like this is still happening? Can we not, like, fallback to the old shaders for models without appropriate PBR textures, if that's what it takes?
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Offline The E

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Re: Specularmap thing again.
The biggest issue at play here is the changed lighting response. I think what we should be doing is see whether we can change the lighting defaults so that they mimic a more metallic lighting response when non-PBR assets are in use. That would probably be less of an issue than trying to shoehorn the old shaders into the pipeline.
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Offline chief1983

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Re: Specularmap thing again.
If anything can be done, that'd be awesome, but I've usually been told that we can't make the defaults match the old behavior any closer.  I haven't looked into the technical reasons for it but if it can be any closer at all, it will really help with the acceptance of the 3.8 release I think.
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Offline The E

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Re: Specularmap thing again.
If anything can be done, that'd be awesome, but I've usually been told that we can't make the defaults match the old behavior any closer.  I haven't looked into the technical reasons for it but if it can be any closer at all, it will really help with the acceptance of the 3.8 release I think.

There is one thing we can definitely do. Right now, the default glossiness value (which is used in non-PBR rendering) is set to 155 (using the scale in the F3 viewers' material overrides). Setting it to a slightly higher level (I think 175 looks good, but this is definitely something you'll need to experiment with) is definitely something we can easily do.
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Re: Specularmap thing again.
Whenever I see bad lighting on a model the reason is, most of the time, that it's too glossy and specular. And you want to make non-PBR models default to being more metallic and glossy? This sounds crazy to me. Old assets look absolutely terrible when you see a glossy, sharp specular reflection slide over a big flat polygon with no normal map.
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Offline chief1983

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Re: Specularmap thing again.
I'm pretty sure the Orion even has normal maps, but they're not enough to prevent that effect shown in my screenshots.
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Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Specularmap thing again.
I'm pretty sure the Orion even has normal maps, but they're not enough to prevent that effect shown in my screenshots.
Yup. I'm quite curious how something like this may be possible using default settings. Specularity strong enough to make normal almost invisible. Especially when Orion has one of the strongest normalmaps in current MediaVPs...

The worst thing is the fact, that this is quite common with any brighter lightning settings on non-PBR models.
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Want to know what's coming? Check my WIP Mods Thread!

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Re: Specularmap thing again.
I definitely remember hearing something about the new code making old normal maps look flatter or something. Which is crazy, and needs to be fixed so they're reasonably backwards-compatible.
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Offline DahBlount

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Re: Specularmap thing again.
Some of these observations here are actually giving me some ideas.

Nyctaeus
With that same ship from the example you posted, make a copy of the -shine map with A) slightly lower overall brightness and B) higher contrast. Post the results please.

Phantom Hoover
Describe what do you mean by normal maps looking "flat" now.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 04:40:08 pm by DahBlount »
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Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Specularmap thing again.
Nyctaeus
With that same ship from the example you posted, make a copy of the -shine map with A) slightly lower overall brightness and B) higher contrast. Post the results please.
I will check this out. Despite that, even if the outcome will be acceptable, it's still lot's of shinemaps to be adjusted.
MY PRODUCTIONS
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MY RELEASED CONTENT SO FAR
Old Conversions | GTSD Anchorage | ORFg Tychicus | GTCa Sagittarius | SCv Scylla | EFC Evangelist | EFFg Solomon | GTL Latona | SC Raguel | PVD Atum | GTCv Eurynome

CURRENT PROJECTS
SMT Skade | EAD Lindos | GTSC Schrodinger

Want to know what's coming? Check my WIP Mods Thread!

I used to be known here as Betrayal. I'm 3D Modeller, Texture Artist, Model Converter, General Modder, Tabeler, Storyline Consultant and Wiki Maintainer. Sorry for my bad english.

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Offline DahBlount

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Re: Specularmap thing again.
Indeed. I just want to keep track of any info related to legacy maps that people should keep in mind when making them.

The biggest complaint with PBR has been that it's a large undertaking to convert existing textures to use PBR considering how they operate. It's also unfortunately the one we can't really do much about as it basically requires a revamp of texture creation techniques.
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Re: Specularmap thing again.
chief's screenshots show it up pretty well, I feel. I don't remember anything looking that bad with the old lighting.
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Offline Spoon

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Re: Specularmap thing again.
When I went through the chore of making exactly 100 reflect maps for WoD, I found that the F3 shiplab wasn't the greatest previewer for them. The lighting in there makes ships look worse than how they tend to look in an actual mission (And the techlab lighting just butchers them). I too was actually really happy with how the game looked with the old lighting, it was pretty easy to create a shine map and just have things look right. With PBR it takes a fair bit more tinkering and I still have ships that just look kind of 'off' in the shiplab.
Then on the other hand, when you do get a ship to look proper, there is an undeniable charm with PBR. A thin stripe of yellow that glows up when you fly past it, glow maps that look amazing and so forth. But at times it also really needs shadows enabled to fully compliment it, and those do tend to hit framerate pretty hard.
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Re: Specularmap thing again.
I've definitely seen models look like that in-game though. I can't take screenshots right now, remind me on Saturday I guess?
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.