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$envmapmask is a material shader parameter available in all Source games. It defines a specular mask which affects how strongly each pixel of a material reflects light from the $envmap. The mask should be a grayscale image in which entirely reflective areas are white and entirely matte areas are black. For diffuse type specularity which does not rely on $envmap, see $phong.

Bug: In Source 2007 games, using an $envmapmask which is not stored in a subfolder will cause the texture to fail loading in-game.

Warning: $envmapmask will not work with materials using $bumpmap. See #Alternative_methods.

VMT syntax example

$envmapmask <texture>
	$envmap			env_cubemap
	$envmapmask		"props/tvscreen_test"

Additional parameters

npc_cscanner's mask.
$envmapmasktransform <matrix>  (DX9+)
Transforms the specular mask texture.
The default position is "center .5 .5 scale 1 1 rotate 0 translate 0 0".
  1. center defines the point of rotation. Only useful if rotate is being used.
  2. scale fits the texture into the material the given number of times. '2 1' is a 50% scale in the X axis.
  3. rotate rotates the texture counter-clockwise in degrees. Accepts any number, including negatives.
  4. translate shifts the texture by the given numbers. '.5' will shift it half-way.
Note:All values must be included!
Bug: Scaling the texture may cause odd issues where the Texture Lock tool in Hammer will not actually lock the texture in place.
Bug: Rotating textures applied on brushes will rotate around the map origin (confirm: Orangebox engine only?). A fix for this is to change the center position in the VMT to the brush's origin.
$envmapmaskscale <float>  (DX8)
Scales the specular mask by the given value. See also $envmapmasktransform, above.
$envmapmaskframe <integer>
The frame to start an animated specular mask on.

CS:GO WorldVertexTransition Parameters

$envmapmask2 <texture> (only in <Counter-Strike: Global Offensive>)
Specular mask for WorldVertexTransition's second layer.
Shaders: WorldVertexTransition
$envmapmasktransform2 <matrix> (only in <Counter-Strike: Global Offensive>)
Texture transformation for $envmapmask2.
Shaders: WorldVertexTransition
$envmapframe2 <integer> (only in <Counter-Strike: Global Offensive>)
The frame to start an animated $envmapmask2 on.
Shaders: WorldVertexTransition

Alternative methods

Rather than creating a whole new texture for a specular mask, you can embed one into the alpha channel of the $basetexture or $bumpmap. Model materials with $bumpmap must do this. Unfortunately, it won't reduce memory usage.

If you do use these commands, transformations and other such parameters applied to $basetexture / $bumpmap will also apply to the specular mask.

$basealphaenvmapmask <boolean>
Use the alpha channel of the $basetexture as the specular mask.
Note:Alpha channels embedded in $basetexture work in reverse. Transparent areas are reflective, opaque areas are matte. This is because, say, a window texture's alpha mask would be mostly black to allow for transparency -- yet that black part of the mask would also be the most reflective part. To avoid having to duplicate a texture file simply to invert the alpha mask, you can use this material parameter instead.
Note:The alpha channel isn't inverted in the Source 2007 engine for models, but the alpha channel is inverted for brushes!
Bug:  In CSGO, this parameter breaks materials using $translucent, limiting its usefulness. Use $envmapmask instead.
$normalmapalphaenvmapmask <boolean>
Use the alpha channel of the $bumpmap as the specular mask.
Note:Will not work if $basemapalphaphongmask or $basemapluminancephongmask are used.
$selfillum_envmapmask_alpha <float>
Use the alpha channel of the $envmapmask as the $selfillum mask instead of $basetexture's alpha. In this event this command replaces $selfillum - do not use both.
$envmapmaskintintmasktexture <boolean> (only in <Counter-Strike: Global Offensive>)
Use the red channel of the $tintmasktexture as the specular mask.
Shaders: VertexLitGeneric

Merging Specular Level into Normal Alpha in 3ds Max

To merge a Specular Level map into the Normal Map alpha, you can create a Composite Map node with the normal map in Layer 1 and the specular map in Mask 1. Then right-click the composite map, click Render Map and save this new image to file (remembering to keep the Gamma at 1.0 and using 32 bits per pixel in the save options).

These steps are automated in the Alpha Spec tool in Wall Worm 2.72+.

See Also