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One object (a lamp shade) in my scene has a simple white material with a normal map. When lighting my scene with just an HDR the material looks as desired. When I add a sun lamp it helps the rest of the scene but blows out the highlights on this white material. I'm using Filmic color management.

How can I avoid these blown highlights but retain the shadows and bounce lighting from the scene?

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If your problem is unwanted light in certain areas of the scene.. or to reduce the overall lighting in an area and make a bit dark, Blender really has an awesome way to do that. So, let me explain with an example here:

Consider this scene where I want to reduce the effect of light in the area below the monkey face on the background code structure. Lets say I want to make it darker and remove some light. Here is the actual scene if u use just the overall sun. enter image description here

Now, I have added a area light in the required area. Interestingly you can make the values of light in "Negative" numbers. Yeah!! That means you can start to remove the light in that area and below is the example of the same. You can adjust the value of it as required to create the required effect! enter image description here

This way you can affect certain areas in scene to be not light up and if you want to wholly remove light effect on a singular object, you can try the other answer as mentioned above. Hope this helps you in your scene.

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If it's blender internal render, there are light groups in the material props, "This layer only" flag in the lamp props. If in cycles, it's possible to use render layers, and one of them will be with the sun lamp excluded. Also you can use ObjectID or MaterialID to mask this object later on compositing (see "ID mask" node for details). and fix its brightness in linear space of the compositor, before the final tone-mapping in filmix.

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