Resolution: Won't Finish
For years the Viewer has been using a very basic generated Environment Map that is supposed to show some sort of reflection of the sky on a given object. This Environment Map, while it was okay back in 2007, prior to the inclusion of Basic Shaders and Windlight, it is heavily outdated and hurts the visuals of some objects more than it adds to them.
- We can't set shiny without automatically including the Environment Map, this applies to both Legacy as well as Deferred Rendering.
- We can't increase the "environment" reflection slider in Build - Texture - Specular Map without automatically including the Environment Map.
- The Environment Map gives objects a wrongly colored, unfitting, chromatic metallic look that shouldn't be the case for anything else other than something you actually want to look chromatic/metallic, currently this is not possible.
- If i want to include the environment (e.g the projectors around an object) i will again automatically include the Environment Map, making it impossible to have projectors reflect in the object and, let's say create a fake environment map, without the Environment Map ruining the visuals again.
The solution is as simple as it can get, one simple checkbox that controls a boolean value in the object's parameters which tells the Viewer if it should include the Environment Map into the calculation, to prevent this from changing the look of every object that was created with this in mind, it should default to ON.
There is also option B, adding a slider for the actual environment map strength, separate from the "environment" reflection slider. This would be the ultimate solution.
As content creator i find the lack of customization for shininess extremely limiting, so much that it makes it impossible to have proper "fake" environment reflections.
I'll add some pictures to show the differences between environment reflections with Environment Map and without. The images are as follows:
3937 - Environment Map On
3938 - Off
3939 - Off
3940 - Environment Map On
3941 - Off
3942 - Environment Map On
3943 - Off
3944 - Environment Map On
As you can see, the record player looks better with Environment Map on while everything else looks better with it off, especially my eyes. This is why we need the option (or better a slider for full control).
To test this change out you can download the latest Black Dragon Viewer (soon) that will include a simple toggle to enable/disable the Environment Map. The current version doesn't include one yet but instead defaults to disabling the Environment Map. With a Viewer that can toggle the Environment Map (or by commenting out the environment map inclusion in the softenLightF.glsl file, line 641 to 649) you can go to http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Hippo%20Hollow/165/126/23 have a look at the projector figures, 2 tubes and 2 boxes with a bunch of projectors. The difference is quite extreme, basically broken == not broken.