I am a beginner at rendering! I am trying to render a very simple object, a sphere with a single material added with the principled shader. I would like to make a high-reflecting metallic sphere.

I don't understand why I see something similar to what I want in the LookDev Method (I use Blender 2.80), but something totally different (i.e. a diffusive and very dark sphere) when I render the scene. I attached the pictures of both the LookDev Method and the rendered image.

I think that the materials settings are more or less fine (cause I see it properly in the LookDev Method), and I have tried both Cycles and Eevee as render engines, including the Ambient Occlusion and employing an HDR environmental texture.

Could anybody suggest me which rendering settings are key to obtain the desired result?

Rendered vs LookDev display
Rendered LookDev

  • $\begingroup$ Hi dboss, on blender.stackexchange answers should be reserved for answer and question information should be included in the question. You can edit your question anytime with the edit link below it. I have included the content (which you wrongly posted as an answer) in the question. $\endgroup$
    – Leander
    Dec 25, 2018 at 11:24
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much! I apologize for my mistake: I am a total rookie here! $\endgroup$
    – dboss
    Dec 26, 2018 at 10:43

1 Answer 1


LookDev mode is intended to give a basic approximation of how the material will behave. Those reflections? They're a built-in environment texture so that we can see the reflections of the surface. Rendering is a different process tho, and uses separate lighting.

Lighting is a pretty complex topic, but one good way to get reliable results is to use an HDRI - like lookdev mode does. Hdris can easily provide good lighting and realistic reflections. This is perfect in your case too, because the reason that the rendered sphere looks flat is because it only has a uniform color to reflect! The best free high-quality HDRI source is hdrihaven.com To learn about how to use them in your scene, see this How can I render an object with an hdr background?

I hope this helps! 😁

  • $\begingroup$ Hi! Thanks a lot for your help! I checked your link: in my case, I would like to set the background transparent so that the HDRI is just a light source. You mentioned that the problem is that I have only a uniform color: how can I improve it? I set a yellow color in the principled shader and I would like to obtain a result similar to what I can see in the LookDev mode. Do you have any ideas on how to get there? Thank you very much!!!! $\endgroup$
    – dboss
    Dec 26, 2018 at 11:02
  • $\begingroup$ Oh yeah, you can do that. Either check "transparent" in the film tab, or use the environment nodes to visually replace it with a different color or image. I can elaborate on either, but which one sounds like it will most fit your situation? $\endgroup$
    – Linguini
    Dec 26, 2018 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ I have already checked “Transparent” in the film tab, since I don’t want to see the background. Actually I would like to have no background in my rendered image. Now I would like so be able to render my sphere, so that it results shiny, glossy and metallic...similarly to the LookDev image. Thanks a lot for the help!!! $\endgroup$
    – dboss
    Dec 26, 2018 at 17:26

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