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How To Make And Add Shininess and Normal Maps

Normal and Shininess maps are among the biggest additions to IMVU Studio. This allows Creators to develop more realistic looking products that interact with light in the way real-world products would. Shininess allows Creators to add dynamic light reflections to their products, based on lighting in a room, while Normal Maps add a level of depth and detail.

The mesh @Aislinn derived from is PID 40205941 

Please note: the “Receive Shadows” feature in this video will be enabled once the feature launches.

How to Create a Shininess Map

STEP 1. Load your textures into Photoshop, or your image editing software of choice. Desaturate each texture (in Photoshop, Image ➞ Adjustments ➞ Desaturate) to create grayscale versions of them.

Black or White?

In a Shininess Map, the amount of black and white will dictate how rough or smooth an item appears. The lighter an area is, the smoother and shinier it appears. For areas that you want to appear rough and not shinny, use black instead.

You can edit the amount of detail you want showing in your shininess map by playing around with blurs. In our tutorial, a Gaussian Blur of .3 radius was used. Contrast can also be edited through the Levels (Image ➞ Adjustments ➞ Levels) or Curves (Image ➞ Adjustments ➞ Curves).

STEP 2. When you have achieved the level of shininess you are looking for, bring your original opacity maps that match the textures into the Photoshop window. Layer the opacity maps over their corresponding shininess maps, and select and delete the white portions of the opacity map layers.

This will create a “cut out” that will show the previously-created shininess map below the opacity map. The product will then shine only in areas where the white sections used to be.

Importing Shininess Maps to IMVU Studio

STEP 1. For each texture on your product, click on the Shininess slot and add the Map you had just created.

STEP 2. Adjust Reflectivity to 50 or to an amount you like.

TIP: You can play around with Reflectivity to achieve your desired results. The higher the number, the more reflective the item becomes. A lower number will result in a more subtle shine.

STEP 3. Once you’re done with all textures, hit Preview to see your product shine!

How to Create a Normal Map

STEP 1. Load the Shininess Map you made in the previous section into Photoshop. For each map, you can generate the Normal Map by going to Filter ➞ 3D ➞ Generate Normal Map.

You will see a dialog box where you can adjust the Blur and the Detail Scale. You can choose the default values, or play around with them to achieve different results. Once you’re done, hit OK.

It’s that easy!

Importing Normal Maps to IMVU Studio

STEP 1. For each texture on your product, click on the Normal slot and add the Map you had just created.

STEP 2. Once you’re done with all textures, hit Preview to see your product come to life!

Halos?

If you’re seeing unusual “halos” on your product, it may be because your Transparency Mode for your textures is set to Composite Blend. You can resolve this issue by choosing Alpha Test instead.

Remember to click Preview after every change to update your product!

Once you’re done with your Shininess and Normal maps, it’s time to upload your product to your shop using IMVU Studio! Click here for more details.

 

Updated on September 30, 2021

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