Blender tips for Specular, Bump (Normal) and Emission Material Textures


After a lot of work here’s what I’ve found with Blender. HiFi’s FBX reader is reading 4 types of material influence textures. Diffuse, Bump (Normal), Specular and Emission. Diffuse textures with transparency is still problematic in that Blender’s exporter does something incorrectly leading to any material with a transparent texture being 100% transparent. I found a hackish solution to fixing transparency by reprocessing the FBX via another program, but that then leads to Bump maps being lost - so its use has ended. If any programmers wish to work on this I’ll be happy to provide any of several hundred test cubes I’ve made to exhibit various failure or success modes.

Texture based specular (shine) control.

This depends upon what parameter of Specular effect your texture is controlling, usually it’s color, but it can also drive intensity and hardness of effect.

If controlling color - set material specular color to 0,0,0 - pure black. Leave intensity at .5 (default) and adjust hardness to whatever level looks right for your item. Higher levels for hardness leads to a more focused point of shine. Once you have that - in your texture stack be sure you enable the texture’s influence on specular - in Influences area you want the tick box by Color checked and others not. Might as well leave influence at 1 as it makes no difference in HiFi what you set it to. If your specular is too much your option is 1) modify the image making it darker/brighter or 2) change influences in Blender and bake a new map.

Make sure option Color is not checked under Diffuse section.

Normal (Bump) Maps.

Once added to texture stack you need to look at Image Sampling parameters being sure to check box labeled Normal Map and leave parameter under it set to Tangent. Then be sure in influences section - Diffuse color is not checked and under Geometry you have box for “Nor: 1.000” checked. As with specular, it seems changing the bump maps’s influence does not pass on - if it’s too strong/weak you have to fix by means similar to above.

Emission is same - its enabler is under Influence, Shading, “Emi: 1.000”.

If you don’t set influences then your material textures are not registered when FBX is parsed.

Changing specular color to pure black insures your texture is in control - at any other value you may not notice your texture isn’t actually controlling shine as the object will have shine from material’s base setting.

I realize this isn’t a step by step howto, but this isn’t easy mode stuff and I wanted to get some notes in place versus delaying while making up something more comprehensive.

Still to be determined… handling of multiple UV unwraps in same object. Lighting so I don’t have to shine flashlight at screen.


Great info though… thanks for sharing that info.


Hi @OmegaHeron, here is a .blend file that @sam put together . I thought is could be useful to have a look at some of the settings he is using.

Here is a picture of the model in High Fidelity.:


Thanks. Hopefully it will help some figure this out properly. I don’t use cycles so it’s of limited use here. I’ll wait until things progress some more then revisit things.


Not sure what this conversation has to do with cycles. The above .blend is using Blender Render. I’ve worked a lot in both Blender Render and Cycles. Cycles is great, but not fully built out, and you have to work a lot in the node editor to get things like bump map. I haven’t run any cycles tests yet, materials are way different in cycles though.


well cycles is the best way to bake in lights and shadows, but u have to drag those baked textures back into blender render to export them as a fbx

whats annoying is i can convert blender render to cycles at the click of a button just not visa versa


When I opened file it showed nodes and was set to cycles render, not blender render. Anyhow - others will sort it out. I’m done fighting it for now.


its kinda misleading, its also in blender game engine

a journey of a thousand miles begins with a trip back to the house for the car keys


Hi @Judas @OmegaHeron @John_Laury at today’s meetup we are going to talk about graphics:


Hopefully a text synopsis will be forthcoming. Since being, mostly, forcefully early retired I only have one responsibility left at my old job. A daily 2 to 3 hour conference call at, you guessed it, 2 …4+ PM Pacific time.


@OmegaHeron do you have any questions you want me to make sure Sam covers?


It’s a common enough subject that I think Judas and others will almost certainly ask about anything I would. Thanks for asking though.


Looking at pictures - it seems I simply have no clue what I’m doing and am willing to accept that and the fallout consequent from it. I’ve looked at the model Sam made, studied it to the point of it making sense and it still doesn’t translate to anything resembling how I’ve modeled for, I guess, too many years. I’ll continue working on things here and there, but, will no longer confuse people or cause trouble over things that are my issue, not those of the underlying architecture. My apologies for that.


Hi @OmegaHeron check this out. Our goal is to make things work how you would expect them.