This topic has been covered before. I have read the shader details, but much is still unclear. I am no stranger to shaders. However there are times the HWRM system just baffles me, and gives me fits.
For example. I just NOW realized (after 3 years of modding this game) that the SPEC, and REFL shaders should be used in TANDUM with each other. I just used SPEC for hull plating with no REFL before, and lets just say i get some very mixed results. Also i did not realize that you had to start from BLACK, and work your way up.
Heres some examples of the fits i have been having…
My goal was to have the hull plating or “aztec” only be seen when the ship is backlit. However the old way i did my spec maps was similar to how Bridge Commander modders did theirs. The results as you can see is that the ship is way too shiny, and the aztecs are visible no matter the direction of the light sources. It looked especially bad when viewed from top down, or bottom up.
After i realized SPEC/REFL symbiosis…
Following the examples from the HWRM sample ships i made a REFL map identical, but darker than the SPEC map (with a few exceptions for mirror like surfaces). I also darkened the original SPEC map. The results are much more like was intended, and the aztecs reflect the backlit light source as they should.
Can some people with more experience elaborate on the non self explanatory on how, and when each shader should be used? Also the PAIN map is still baffling me. What exactly is its purpose?
It took me 3 years to figure out what i did on my own. I hope i dont have to take another 3 years to figure out the rest.