Avatar Resource Files (and some PBR)

There is an inconsistency in the avatar resource files. I am using the latest versions marked 2/2/18. The upper body roughness maps are not similar between the male and female version. Here's a comparison example showing the difference.

I'm not referring to the gray background color on the male. I'm referring to an inversion difference in the maps. If you observe the knee areas of the upper body for both male and female you will see that on the female the knees are mostly black, but on the male the knees are mostly white. To me this raises a concern of inconsistency.

I've submitted a support ticket in regards to this, but it ended up with me asking questions and raising concerns trying to understand the nature of the maps and even how they are used in-world. I was told by support the following information...

"Thanks for reaching out to Sansar Support! You are correct the white is rough and the black is considered gloss. If you were to want them to be different you could invert them.


Our roughness map is similar to what a spec ( specular ) map would be. Because of the way the maya shaders are set up, it's actually the inverse of what the specular map would show up as in PS. The Metalness map is equivalent to reflectivity. Ultimately the roughness map is an inverted specular.


Thanks for getting back to me. We appreciate all the hard work that you are putting into Sansar. The avatars are made as the engineers have intended for them to be at this time. However, there may be more changes to come in the future."

The part that confuses me is that LL states that the roughness map is an inversion of the specular map. The information I find online in regards to PBR in general doesn't seem to align with this. If anything, roughness is an inversion of glossiness and that specular is only ever mentioned in the specular/glossiness PBR workflow. But, Sansar, from what I understand, uses a metalness/roughness workflow. These are two different workflows. So, why is the specular map being used as the basis (+ inverted) for the roughness map? Plus, I don't think a simple inversion is the answer here.

Hopefully those of you are more knowledgeable with Maya and have dealt a lot with PBR workflows can provide some further input on this. I'll open another feature request in regards to this if needed. Anyways, what I am proposing here is the following...

  • Linden Lab provides the community avatar resources that are consistent between male and female avatars and ensuring they are aligned with how they are used in-world.

This might not seem like an important concern at the moment since we can't change skins as far as I know of. But, I know that people have requested the ability to do so and I think that having the proper files would help ensure consistency as well as making sure the files are aligned with the in-world implementation.


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