I know why programmers get paid more than artists now. It’s because artists get to look at pretty stuff all day long, while programmers have to look at code.
Anyway, for a change, I wanted to look at pretty stuff again, so fired up my testmaps again and started fumbling around with the specular maps in Gimp. I was previously using the inverted diffuse map as a base, but this often resulted in overblown coloured highlights. So I started to mess around with combinations of various maps, and layer modes in Gimp. I think I happened upon a much better method now, something that still makes some use of the inverse but also other things. So now I get white highlights on any colour of material, but tinted by the colour of the light source. Pretty damn nice. My new process also correctly has recessed areas of the texture appear dark in the specular map, whereas if you just invert the diffuse dark becomes bright, which is usually not what you want.
This is an EF_DIMLIGHT and you can see how the specular highlight from the concrete is the correct colour. (If you wonder what all those buckets are doing there, I used them to test my random loot generation – each is a randomly created item.)
Highlights on the pipes are looking correct now – some of those were discoloured with the old specular maps. Note I removed the reddish pipes because I’m going for a unified colour scheme now.
Soft specular highlight on the floor tiles.
The stairs are actually a plain grey steel texture; the yellow highlights are from the light source on the nearby wall. I dropped the rusty reddish texture here as well.
This is how the HUD actually looks ingame – practically no discoloration compared to Gimp, although this depends on the gamma setting. Hence I’ll light the game for a gamma setting of 1.0 from now on. The colours of the HUD still need some tweaking to better blend into the game.
There’s no processing here, these shots were directly dumped from the game and did not go through any filters whatsoever before posting.
Well, not too bad a result for a bored Thursday evening.