Originally posted by KARMA
Idea for the RGB solution:
for the glowmaps, let's use the color already present in the texture, this way they'll just be a brightness map. You could use the red channel for this.
Then you can use in the glowmaps another channel (blue) for the envmap.
Since the shinemaps use color sometimes they'll need to be a separate map.
You will still have another channel (green) free for use in those new glowmaps......bumpmap?
I have an idea that will keep it working.
Glowmaps need to be seperate, as you can do cool stuff with seperate glow maps (lights that leave black bulbs when turned off, not some turned on but 'not glowing' lights, etc.).
Specular maps without an alpha channel will use the normal spec map as the env map. If the image has an alpha channel, it will use the shinemap's alpha channel as the reflective map. Like this, you can create barely shiny but really reflective cockpits (the only use I find for having seperate shinyness and reflectiveness on one surface).
So you would have:
as we have it now, but with added Env map in the shine texture.
This doesnt break anything and will look good enough without extra data, and extra data will be easy to add in. Transparent shinemaps / reflective maps are nonsense so using the alpha channel is a really good idea, since most formats you use support alpha channels (TGA, DDS) - and if it doesnt find one it will simply use the normal shinemap. You will be able to use most shinemaps unmodified, and only some specific ones (fighter cockpits etc) will have to be modified.
That's what I would like to see