Colored specular maps?

This is from something i do after work hours, mostly trying to learn things.

Naturally, i know specular maps can have colors, but i’ve come across some (i’ve dug them up from some games i bought, i hope that’s not a problem), which the color distribution makes little to no sense if you just apply them. Running one of them through GIMP (they’re .tga files, btw) shows all 3 channels make very distinct lighting patterns by themselves, so i could just separate them into 3 picture files and try using them like that, but i’m pretty sure i’d not be making the best use of it that way, and i’d probably be missing out on some important knowledge. I’ve tried using the node editor to isolate a specific color’s influence, but so far i’ve had no luck (i’m fairly inexperienced with it, since i’ve mostly been animating till now), and google hasn’t been kind to my searches, though i’m pretty sure i’m lacking the correct terms to begin with.

So my question is, is there a way to control a specular map’s behavior based on channel, or something to that effect?

Thanks for your time.

Are you wanting to render with Blender Internal or cycles or some other? Cycles has material nodes to convert RGB to B&W or separate out the colors (Add->Converter in the node editor). These channels could then serve as a “factor” input on a mix shader, which in turn has glossy and diffuse shaders as inputs.

BI has a texture panel to adjust the influence of the R, G & B channels and to put a checkmark on the the specular influence box.

So first, which renderer do you plan to use?

This really is a world i haven’t even scratched the surface yet. It’s embarrassing for me to say, but i didn’t even have the concept of multiple renderers until you posed that question. I had to go and read up on it for a bit before i could even give you an answer to that.

Needless to say, i’ve been naively using BI all this (not very long) time. Switching over to Cycles did obviously turn it into a fine mess, after all the tweaks i’d already done do the model’s rendering, but it did seem very interesting, and i got the impression the renderer is very well-liked.

So right now the default route for me is BI, but if you happen to think cycles is a better option here, i can bite the bullet and start the material editing from scratch.

normaly spec map are black greush and white not colored!
and it is used for adding some spec reflections at different locations on the model

color is use with a color map

nomal blender use diffuse and spec color independant of the spec map !

wiht cycles you could simply add a glossy node with the color you want

happy blendering

Blender Internal has its strengths (such as speed and smooth shading without noise), but cycles works much closer to how light actually interacts with physical objects and as a result creates a more realistic image. You can learn both for different needs, but going forward it’s my impression that Blender Internal will no longer be the focus of new development. Frankly I find cycles a lot easier to use once you get the nodes concept. Happy blending : )

Took me a while to learn Cycles enough that i could even apply bump and specular maps again, but i finally got there, and i can separate the channels now.

Thanks again.