Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Tips for metal materials?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Tips for metal materials?

    So, I have been tweaking my methods for creating metal shaders for quite some time, but no matter what I do, I just cannot seem to get it right.

    I so far have two methods, the first is using a normal specular and normal map.
    The problem I have with this method is that as long as the normal map is visible, i will get a plastic wrapper or "glazed" effect, the shading seems to float off the object or be offset, and without the normal map, it just loses way too much detail, I also get vastly different results with the same material depending on the shape of the models, and their diffuse, which is extremely annoying, since at some small spots I am able to tweak it to look great, while it will look awful at others.

    The other method is by using a cubemap, mildly combined with a specular map, this works much better, but it's waaaaaaay too reflective no matter what I do. Yes, I can control how visible the cubemap is, but it just doesn't seem right, the reflection doesn't get smudged out like it should, just weaker.

    I keep seeing some AMAZING metal shaders once in a while, but they never seem to share their secrets. I have found a couple of tutorials for metal materials here and there, but they are way too basic or just gives a meh looking result. Any tips for creating a good metal material, or have you found a setup you find particularily nice? Or do you perhaps know of a good tutorial?

    My game will be focused around mechs (it's basically all there is to it), so getting the metal just right is a must.

    #2
    As you see metals are generally shiny. You need a gray diffuse, a high specular with high specular power, and lots of detail maps. A few detail normal maps are included with UDK. Search for "detail" in the browser. Use them wisely and you will get a great normal. I remember I once created a metallic material with just normal maps as assets. The vector parameters and constants can do the rest.

    Best of luck.

    Comment


      #3
      Oh, the maps aren't a problem, I am fluent in asset creation, and make my own normal maps etc.

      Comment


        #4
        Cubemap is the way to go but you need to use blurred image. You can export the textures, blur them and import them back in. Also try using any one of RGB channel instead of color channel for monochrome reflection or use desaturate node.

        Comment


          #5
          It's all in the specular - you can use a flat colour for diffuse, but without a decent specular map it's all for nought. Cubemaps are good for highly reflective surfaces, so chances are you'll want to use them for smoother surfaces, along with some kind of false HDR effect. Normals aren't important in my experience, treat them as normal. A smooth metallic surface wouldn't need normal maps at all.

          Comment


            #6
            I pretty much like the texture render target cube. It can get you a reflection and you can blur it in the material editor itself.

            Comment


              #7
              RTTs are very performance hungry though. I wouldn't use them except in special cases.

              Comment


                #8
                Well for metal i just connect red channel (TextureS.) and specular on the my material, for wood i just use the blue channel, but if u talking about real reflection from world, like, let me say the mirror effect, hmmm, i believe that will be so expensive for play budget, u kno what i mean. I saw in some of the online games almost noone use real reflection, most of this things r just some map what acting like reflection, thats all. mirror effect, hmmmm, to expensive for my taste except when u need to have a mirror. Yes i saw too, in some youtube videos nice mirror effects on the players "clothes" but this was only for marketing purpose, in game, this is just shiny material or as i was mention the map (enterior-exterior) which was applied as reflection never real mirror.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Doing reflections/cubemaps is difficult to do if you don't want it to be extremely polished or wet, I still haven't quite figured it out.

                  I am able to do dark metals using your regular specular map decently now, though I am still having issues with lighter metals, any specific suggestions:

                  http://youtu.be/7l-ISQw8-Fo

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Graylord View Post
                    Doing reflections/cubemaps is difficult to do if you don't want it to be extremely polished or wet, I still haven't quite figured it out.

                    I am able to do dark metals using your regular specular map decently now, though I am still having issues with lighter metals, any specific suggestions:

                    http://youtu.be/ogt85R16ku8
                    (Just mute the sound)
                    The gray parts look like plastic, they need to be shinier.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      They are as shiny as the black.

                      Edit: Aha, I think I get it. It's not so much about the general brightness of the specular, but the contrast of it compared to the diffuse.

                      A brighter material will need an equally brighter specular in order to appear as shiny.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by taz1004 View Post
                        Cubemap is the way to go but you need to use blurred image. You can export the textures, blur them and import them back in. Also try using any one of RGB channel instead of color channel for monochrome reflection or use desaturate node.
                        How do you export the textures? I've been struggling with getting a reflection I'm satisfied with, and I've come to the same conclusion - it has to be blurred, but I want to avoid a post process blurring, for performance reasons. Maybe I'm missing something, but each time I try to right click on a texture and export, it only gives me the option to save in a .COPY format. Thanks.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Make sure you're actually exporting the texture, and not a texture cube.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Ahhh, so I would create the cubemap and export the 6 individual sides, combine them in photoshop, blur the image, then break them apart, save as 6 separate images, and combine into a texture cube in UDK...? I think that makes sense, ill try it when i get home. Thanks!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              hey man, i got really good results with just a simple normal map and a texture of sky. first I plugged the reflection node into the sky texture, desaturated it, and lerped it with a gray colour. the alpha in the lerp node is 1. and thats your diffuse. Next i made a power node of 0.7 for the spec and combined with a add that has a constant of 1( you can tweek with it- this is just the brightnes of the spec), and thats for the spec. Then you simply conect a constant to the spec. power ( the glossines). And for the normals, I use a scratchy normal map. Blend the scratchy normal map with the same map, just a bit resized. Blend them with the node add. Dont forget to disable the blue channel in the resized normal map.

                              Thx!!! hope its usefull

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X