So amongst the excitement of Experience Tools and Skill Games announcements, something else happened this week. LSL Materials Parameters.
These are basically new commands for scripters to control the normal and specular mapping of an object. This is great for creators as material mapping, especially specular mapping has allowed for some very cool effects
You can make objects look more metallic and other objects wet or damp. In New Babbage i used specular mapping to make cobbled sidewalks look wet and have puddles. Windows reflect light like proper glass.
What adding LSL scripting control to materials allows is the ability to script the normal & specular map for certain changeable scenarios.
My first experiment with the new LSL Parameters was to create clothing that appears to get wet when you enter water. Some people had tried this before by simply changing the texture but now we can change the actual specular shine of the object for a proper wet look.
I didn’t stop at just clothes though. Since I’ve been working on a replacement MESH avatar body, i had a go at making the whole body look wet.
The results were very promising. When you enter water the clothes and body become wet and when you leave the water the clothes and body gradually become dry again. The script itself is as low on server checking as possible, the last thing i wanted was to add scripts that cause lag. I’ve yet to consider wether to make all my future clothing ‘wet’ enabled or just the summer range.
Of course you need to have advanced Lighting Model enabled in your viewer before you can see all these kool extra effects, and a year after Materials first appeared many still are unaware of this feature. Some simply don’t have it switched on due to having old computer equipment while others turn it off because shadows grind everything to a halt unaware you can switch shadows off. I have a pretty up to date mac hardware and shadows kill my experience. Shadows should have it’s own separated tab so it does not scare people away from switching on advanced lighting.