7 answers · asked · Lesson: Configuring a Metal Material · Course: Modeling, Texturing and Shading a Treasure Chest in Blender 2.8

High metallic value is black

I have all the same nodes configured but if I disconnect my color ramp from the metallic slider and increase the metallic value to 1, the metall becomes black.
With connected color ramp my metal is to dark, too, and there is no real shine to it.
I don't know why that happens.

  • Hello laser, I can't really tell what is happening in your case without a screenshot, but there is mainly a combination of the base color, the environment and the roughness (especially with metal).

    Here I have a base color of 0.5, meaning that 50% of the light will be reflected and the rest will be absorbed by the metal.

    As you can see, the background color is being darkened in the metal, while only half of the light is being reflected.

    Usually metals reflect around 90 - 95% of the light, meaning your RGB values (of the base color) should be around 0.9 or so.

    The shininess of the metal depends on the roughness, the higher the roughness, the less shiny it will be.

    Even if you don't understand this completely, thjnk logically: if your material is too dark, make it lighter.

    And remember that metal is highly affected by the environment and lighting.

  • Thank you for your answer. I tried to use a lighter base color and that makes the metal lighter but there is still no real metallic shine to it. I have added screenshots of my original material nodes and how it looks.

    • Like I said, the shininess depends on the Roughness.

      Looking at the Colorramp you use for the Roughness, that is very light, meaning that your Roughness will be quite high and therefor the material not very shiny.

      Remember that black is equivalent to 0, when plugged into a grey socket (that takes a Value as input), and white means 1.

      A roughness of 0 together with a metallic value of 1 gives a perfectly polished metal; with mirror-like reflections.

      Play around wit the Roughness and Metal values and look at the results.

      With time you will get a feel for what those values should be to get the result you want.

    • crew

      llaser Spikey brings a good word. My guess is also that the roughness value is too high (close to white). If brought lower (closer to black) it should shine more like metal.

    • What are you using for your background? Do you have an HDRI or are you using the stock grey? Metal, especially shiny metal is only as good as the environment it's reflecting.

    • jjhawley218 The screenshot is  in Material Preview mode. You can even see what HDRI it is using....

      But yes, you are right: the environment is very important with shiny metal!

    • Yeah, looking closer at the nodes, your color ramp connecting to Roughness is mostly white or nearly white, you want something mid-range grey for some reflections as Kent pointed out. Black or "0" is going to give you polished metal look.