Tips for realistic lightning/texture look? (VMT commands)

So, anybody got tips for realistic as possible looking lightning on models? I know all the basic vmt phong commands, normal maps and all that stuff, but is there more advanced stuff, which could improve the quality of the model? Advanced stuff I mean, the lightning behavior on different surfaces, metal, glass, wood, fabric, skin, etc.

Help would be much appreciated.

Try Dear Esther ,there is lot of new shaders

That covers just about everything significant that’s available. The “more advanced” behavior is limited to good/clever application of those things.

Anything else is obscure and likely lacks proper documentation, so you’ll have to pay attention to models that do what you’re wanting and figure out how they did it. If no models exist that do it, chances are it doesn’t exist.

[editline]28th November 2016[/editline]

Shaders are engine dependent. So if Garry’s Mod doesn’t have what shader Dear Esther has, then it can’t be used in Garry’s Mod unless Garry himself ports it.

Thanks, what about SFM?

Has whatever TF2 has. Your goal of advanced lighting effects is vague and I doubt whatever it is you’re looking for exists in SFM. Unless you can go into more detail and provide examples of what you want exactly, there’s not much more I can tell you.

I’m looking for this kind of style.

I’m not sure what’s there that can’t be replicated using phong and bumpmaps. All the ‘style’ will be tweaking and tuning the phong mask/exponent texture and variables. Is there anything else there that calls for advanced effects, and can you provide technical details for them?

Could you actually tell me more about the phong masks, I don’t really understand how these light maps works. I’ve seen some green texture maps, and some of are white. Is there a reason for it? Or a difference?

Seriously, just look at the dev wiki. That first page I linked links to $phong which tells you how to use it in in vmts, and that page links to an explanation of what phong is and how it works.

Yeah, I usually do but the problem is that usually there is outdated info. And most of the things that I’ve learned is from the other people.

But I guess I just have to play with the commands, and see what works/looks best. If I only could get cubemaps working in sfm.

You definitely won’t be able to replicate that exactly, but you shouldn’t have a problem producing something that’s fairly close with the basic shaders and masks since they’re typically the core of shading behind all other models at the very least.

Allright, so source is still capable to make pretty nice looking lightning if done correctly?

I think he could replicate it actually, but it would need some pretty precisely authored phong-exponent masks and specular maps, as well as some extremely detailed normal maps.

But yes, he should be able to get pretty close to it with a lot less work, using simpler exponent and specular maps.

Yeah, I nearly forgot about that. In some cases you can come much more closely by manually tweaking the textures for use in-game. Source is over a decade old and GMod doesn’t run on one of the latest Source branches for a few reasons. That said, sometimes just merging the masks, desaturated, onto the diffuse maps at a low to moderate opacity. It’s honestly easiest to just experiment with the values to see what they do. The only thing you need to know yourself up-front is that harder materials have a harder and sharper shine (high phong exponent) and oher shiny surfaces may have a broader shine and lower phong exponent.

Phong exponent masks can be used to give the material different exponent vaqlues in different areas as opposed to a single phong exponent value on the entire material.