making a good spec map

I know how to make them but normally I don’t use them, never really saw the need for them
All I do is turn up the spec on the object. I have seen some objects with spec maps and they look better. Here is my question, how would I make a spec map for an airplane? What parts would i highlight? If i highlight the parts that stick out and view the object from a different angle you won’t see the map correct? I am not sure if i am explaining correctly.


Hey digiman,

Specular maps only control the secularity of an object when light is shining upon it, so it wont just shine by its self.

As for which parts to highlight…i guess the best answer is all the bits that would catch the light.

You can use this technique i find it can make decent maps.

Copy your Diffuse colour map and run a find edges filter on it in Photoshop/gimp/PSP etc. then grayscale and invert the map then use it as a lighten overlay on another copy of you grayscaled colour map.

You might have to erase a few bits, but its much quicker than painting by hand

Using colours like dark blue for metal is a nice trick also as grey tends to look a bit plasticy

Hope that helps :slight_smile:

Thanks, I’ll try the blue. I guess what i wanted to say is instead of a spec map why not just increase the spec highlights wouldn’t that work the same way? The confusion on the airplane is that all the parts of a plane catch the light.


Specular texture (and all textures, doesn’t matter if they affect colour, normals or whatever) add detail to your materials. If you just increase the specularity, it’ll be uniformly increaset over the surface. But map adds details.

A good spec map? Hart to tell, it depends of what you want, but usually edges, scratches on metal are shinier, and dirt not. What matalliandy posted is good to start with. Just play with layers, filters, colour curves in PS/GIMP to get the result. If your aircraft is a shiny new one, directly from production there isn’t any need for spec map.