Specular color map
Specular Color Map
A texture that controls the intensity/color of the specular highlights from real-time lights.
Usually a specular map simply controls the brightness of the highlights, at a per-pixel level. If the shader supports RGB the specular map can be used to colorize specular highlights, useful for surfaces that have more complex reflective properties like metals, beetle shells, etc.
Sometimes a shader will also support per-pixel control for the width or power of the specular highlights, this is often called the Specular gloss map.
- Gamma Corrected Specularity on the Polycount forum.
- Brief Considerations About Materials by Pedro Toledo is a great explanation of how specular works in computer graphics, including why people use inverse-hue specular color maps. In the Polycount thread about this article, Jordan 'JordanW' Walker explains how gamma affects specular color as well.
- specular maps and normal maps archive thread from Polycount has tons of tips and information about specular maps.
- Creating Models in Quake 4 by Raven Software has a great section on creating specular maps for Quake 4 characters.
- Hard Surface Texture Painting by Stefan Morrell has some information on painting a specular map for metal surfaces.
- Texturing Tutorial by Evan 'racer445' Herbert has some tips about creating specular maps.
- Why so blue? thread on the Polycount forum has an informed discussion about why the color blue is used for human skin specular maps.