View Single Post
Old 17th February 2008, 09:02 AM   #13
Senior Member
Professional user
lisa's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 917
Default Re: Hello & Questions

Specular Lighting

To understand specular mapping, you first need to understand specular lighting.

Specular lighting is responsible for the appearance of "shiny highlights" on the surface of an object. The bright spot you see on the polished surface of a pool ball is a good example of specular lighting.

Unlike directional lighting, specular lighting is view-angle dependent. This means that the intensity of the bright spot changes depending not only on the position of the light, camera and object, but also on the position where the viewer is standing. Generally, specular highlights are most visible when viewed from straight-on.

You can change the specular color of a material the same way you change the diffuse color in the material settings. However, specular also has an additional setting called "specular power". Specular power is also sometimes called "brilliance" or "shininess". The specular power setting controls the size of the highlights. By making the highlights smaller, it makes the object appear as if it were made of a harder material such as glass or metal. By making the highlights larger, it makes the object appear as if it were made of a softer or duller material such as plastic or paper.

Here is the cube with and without specular lighting. The cube has been rotated to face the viewer so the highlights are more visible:
Attached Images
lisa is offline   Reply With Quote