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I'm trying to create a stainless steel metal with dust on it. There' something I'm not understanding. I'm using a sun lamp in my scene and the effect is pretty weak:

enter image description here

Hoewever, if, under viewport shading, I uncheck "Scene Lights" and "Scene World", I get this - which is much closer to what I'm going for (although still not great):

enter image description here

The problem is that I want to use the sun lamp and not an HDRI. Basically, I'm looking for a good way to add dirt to a vehicle in a scene lit with a sun lamp.

So one question is, why does the second image look so much better? How do I get the first image to look more like the second?

More importantly though, how can I get some realistic dirt and dust on a metal vehicle?

Thanks for any help!

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't think the problem is so much with the dirt, as with the metal. In order for the eye to perceive a material as metallic, the main visual cue is reflection of an environment. (If not an HDRI, then something else you provide for it) $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts Dec 23 '19 at 22:16
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Thanks for the responses everyone. I realize I was asking several things at once. Here's what I figured out:

  1. The sun lamp was too dim. That's why the results were not comparable with the HDRI.
  2. I had to really turn up the the "Strength" and "Distance" settings on the bump node to get some effect. And turning down the roughness setting allows the "Dirt" to look like it's sitting on top of the metal.

Unfortunately, the effect looks more like metal than dirt, but the questions I was asking in this thread are answered.

enter image description here

Edit: I found that inverting the Bump node, gave more of the look I was going for: enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I saw your node and I would like to suggest you something. It is preferable that you connect your Mapping node into your other textures if they correspond to the same PBR material. This will make all images have the same coordinates in the mesh. About the metalic appearence I would like to suggest you to use only the 'normal map' node and connect only the normal texture in it. The bump node will give the impression of depht. I don't know if this will work but would give a try. $\endgroup$ – Mateus Arruda Dec 24 '19 at 13:01
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Well, I'm not going to be able to answer all your questions, but I try to help a bit.

-Any metallic surface needs an environment to look its best. The material's reflectiveness needs to be able to interact with the surroundings, so even simply adding a ground plane can help a lot.

-The first image is simply just getting hit with flat hard blue lighting causing the cube to look blue. As I mentioned above, adding surroundings can help reduce that.

-There are many tutorials on adding dirt/grime to objects. I'd look through those as its similar to dust.

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I would like to suggest some solutions:

1.You could look for some already made pbr textures that have dust or rust on it, like this one.

  1. You could look for dirt PNG images like this one and put it on the top of your material, and going even further you could search for multiple materials (metal only and dirt only) and add them in a mixed shader to have of them.

  2. And finally, the way I did it once here , you could paint your texture with dirt using the 'Texture Paint' tab. Thats how I make the name 'Capsule 341' name on this model. I wrote the name and added some brown dirt over a layer using photoshop. The green color is from the material and the almost invisible brown dirt is from an image.

enter image description here

I hope it helps :)

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