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This article or section needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality because:
This wiki has the terms "albedo" and "diffuse map" inversed outside this page; Source Source normally uses diffuse maps, whereas Source 2 Source 2 normally uses albedo.
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An albedo, often interchangeably referred to as diffuse map, is a term used to describe reflection coefficient of a material surface containing view-independent Base Color information without any additional lighting or shadow information. Often stored into a Image Texture.
It's used to tell which color tint and initially add basic details for a Diffuse surface. And defines what we normally think of a texture as being before enhanced by other "treatment" textures like bump maps or specular masks.

Note.pngNote:Albedos may are referenced in materials with the $basetexture command.
However, $basetexture is not limited for Albedos.
Note.pngNote:When a Albedo is composed with additional information such Ambient Occlusion or surface highlights, it what nowdays called Diffuse on a Diffuse/Specular workflow.


Engine-wise, Albedo is usually used to archive a brighter or toon-like surfaces, such what we see in Dota 2 Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2 Team Fortress 2 characters. Often confused and interchange term for Lambert Diffuse texture, often combined with other informations such radiosity maps, luminance maps, shadow maps, diffuse maps and occlusion maps as cheap shading aproximation.

Blank image.pngTodo: Add image examples for individual map and the composed result in image