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Nytehauq

Why are normal/parallax maps all shiny?

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Is there something about the methods used for normal/parallax mapping that makes them unsuitable for matte rendering or is it an optional choice to show screens of surfaces with high specularity when showing off parallax and normal mapping?

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I've seen a number of diffuse surfaces benefit from normal mapping or parallax mapping. The techniques are suited just fine for diffuse surfaces. However, because specular surfaces usually exhibit high frequency reflectance content, you probably notice the effects of normal mapping more.

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parallax mapping has nothing to do with matieral properties like reflectance. It just "deforms" the textures in a way so that looks like it has more details.

Normalmapping can be applied to any lightning model that uses the normal of the surface to calculate the lightning(and diffuse lightning is one of them).

regards,
m4gnus

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...that being said, there appears to be a preference for shiny surfaces. I think this happens with all new tech: It's overdone while it's new. Happened to physics, shadows, lensflares, hdr and so on. Give it some time and it will be used in a subtle way. :)

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Specularity (shininess) is normally controlled by the artist. Most shaders use a specular "mask" texture control, which can be a greyscale or rgb, that is simply multiplied with the specular term.

Lost of things in nature exhibit some level of specularity; in fact almost everything does as a pure lambertian surface (0 spec, 100 diff) is almost non-existent.

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