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Sand specular files [FIXED]

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First, let me say I never spent any time in the "Sandbox."  But I have spent a few Midwestern winters looking at sun shining on heavy snow.


Is it possible the specular treatments for sand and snow have been mixed up?  


When I began exploring Version 4.1x, one of the first things I noticed was how shiny/reflective the sand is. Almost like water.  So, as an experiment (don't try this at home, kids) I switched the stock "sand1" and "sand2" specular files -- which are blanks -- for the stock "snow1" and "snow2" files -- which are scattered "sparkles."


Below is a comparison. I think the stock version, aside from the color, reacts like snow in the sunlight. The modded version, to me, looks more like sand.

I don't have a comparison picture of an SB 'deep snow' theme ... I might check that next.




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Well, the snow texture is indeed intended for snow (the dots/sparkles), as unpacked snow can reflect light on the surface. But the sand specular was a point of debate in the beta in the beta team. The issue of course is that in dawn/dusk situations the light makes the snow look a bit plastic like.   However at noon and such, it looks good, as it makes the normal map pop out more, and the duller specular looks not so good at noon situations. So there are pros and cons here.


That said, the "blank" sand texture is actually a 8x8 square with specular color, and the color is where it derives its dull or shiny appearance. That color was changed many times, darker, lighter, back and forth until the current result.


Its subjective but the snow specular for sand doesn't look good in our opinion, because the dots are too large and probably need to be at a higher density. However you have given us an idea to make a specular similar to snow, but a bit more "noise" and smaller dots and of course less plastic looking - so we will try to make a new and improved one. 🤔



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...actually we just improved the snow textures (some ugly unintended artifacts there). Improved.


And then, looking at the sand, we have created some much better (more gritty) specular textures and corrected an issue on the normal map (inverted axis). So, several improvements here in the next patch. :)


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