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While looking at lots of different texture types from various games, i have come across some maps which i am not sure about. Sometimes the file name helps to determine the type, but some are just confusing. Examples below:

According to a material file this is supposed to be a specular map. The imagefile name says "RGB":

enter image description here

But then there's this one. The name says "Rim". What's a "Rim-Texture"?

enter image description here

And here's one from a completely different model. The filename says "Body_FX". What's this? A Specular map? Why is everything green?

enter image description here

Why are so many Specular maps b/w and some brightly colored? Can i just plug them in the Principled Shader or do they require special blending modes?

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The images store multiple material information in their color channels. When you view them in RGB, the resulting image doesn't make any sense, because all these layers just get added up. If you look at the color channels independently, you can identify the stored information. The RGB channels of boYTW.png and K3Cvf.png look like this:

different channels of RGB file

I don't exactly know, what the R channel is for in the first image, it might be some kind of mask or SSS information. The green channel however clearly stores the specular information. You can see the shiny hair, the wet lips and the metal buttons. The blue channel seems to store the roughness information.

The other image only carries two channels, R and G. Blue is black and therefor doesn't store any information.

The Red channel seems to store emission information, the Green channel stores ambient occlusion data.

You can grab the channels in Blender and see for yourself, wich channel might contribute to wich part of the shader. Here is one possible experiment, there are obviously a lot of maps missing, you'd need to add the albedo and normal maps. But this is a nice approach to see wich texturechannel might deliver wich information.

punch together some channels

I hope that helps!

specular test

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A texture map type is defined by the useage. You can use a heightmap as a texture and vice versa. And it can have many different names. As an example, a Diffuse map in the traditional texturing workflow is now called Albedo map in the PBR workflow.

Some names and useages are commmon. Normal map, Specular map, etc. . But there might be some special shaders in other software that reqires an image for a very special job. The green map could be the base of a glow effect for example. And the second texture seems to be a Diffuse map with a rim light* baked into it. And the artist called it Rim then.

*A very common lighting method for portraits for example. A Rim light is the one that comes from behind. It forms the silhouette.

You can of course use those texture types in the Principled shader too. But first you have to find out what they are meant for.

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