This is something that has been irking me for a while, as I've been working on a car project. I'm trying to create a paint (in cycles) similar to the the material in this image:

enter image description here

The problem is, whenever I try to make it, it always comes out looking to diffused or too sharp.

Here's my node setup:

enter image description here

And here's the render:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Show us a setup of your nodes and any results you have rendered, also realistic is too subjective and open to interpretation, can you specify a set style.. like chrome or matte. $\endgroup$
    – iKlsR
    May 23, 2013 at 17:21
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ To truly evaluate the material, use a pure white environment like your reference. $\endgroup$
    – bntser
    May 24, 2013 at 2:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Haven't you made it a bit too glossy? $\endgroup$ May 24, 2013 at 4:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'd like to see an answer with good explanations as to why each node is used, and how their values contribute to the resulting effect. And why changing certain control values change the result as they do. $\endgroup$
    – jesterKing
    May 24, 2013 at 6:53
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    $\begingroup$ Instead of mixing a bunch of glossy shaders, try mixing with a matte shader (diffuse or velvet). You can also play with using a fresnel as the mix factor. You'll probably just have to play around with the shader for a while to get something that looks nice. $\endgroup$
    – Azmisov
    Oct 18, 2014 at 20:28

2 Answers 2


I'm not completely sure what you are going after, but for an image like the top one lighting will be very important.

I don't have car model to demonstrate, but hopefully this gives you some ideas:

enter image description here

Material nodes:

enter image description here

If you want that paint fleck look that a lot of car paints have, try using a voronoi texture to modify the normals of a glossy shader underneath the main surface:

enter image description here

enter image description here


A matte car paint can be created with only five nodes:

  • Principled BSDF
  • Velvet BSDF or another Principled BSDF
  • Layer Weight
  • Mix Shader
  • Material Output

Material using Velvet BSDF for sheen

Matte car paint black using Velvet BSDF Matte car paint white using Velvet BSDF The BMW demo scene was create by Mike Pan


The Principled BSDF should have a Roughness between 0.3 and 0.5 depending on how matte the paint should be. I left all other parameters at their default, but the Specular value could be adjusted as well.

The Velvet BSDF in combination with the Layer Weight and Mix Shader nodes are the key to create the typical sheen of the matte car paint. The Facing output of the Layer Weight is used to blend between the Principled BSDF and Velvet BSDF.

Material using Principled BSDF for sheen

Matte car paint black using Principled BSDF

Matte car paint black using Principled BSDF The BMW demo scene was create by Mike Pan


In this variation the Velvet BSDF has been replaced by a Principled BSDF. The Specular parameter can be adjusted to control the amount of specular reflection in the areas with the sheen effect.

Specular set to zero Specular set to zero for Principled BSDF with sheen

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Why not to use Principled's sheen instead of Velvet? Is there something special about it? $\endgroup$
    – Serge L
    Jan 5, 2020 at 11:49
  • $\begingroup$ @SergeL The Velvet BSDF looks different than the Principled BSDF with Sheen. For this use case it seemed to be closer to what I wanted to achieve. You could replace the Velvet BSDF with the Principled BSDF, but it would require a bit more parameter tweaking. One benefit of using another Principled BSDF would be that the material works in Eeevee as well (which doesn't have the Velvet BSDF). $\endgroup$
    – Robert Gützkow
    Jan 5, 2020 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ I've updated the answer. Personally I think the version with the Velvet BSDF looks better. $\endgroup$
    – Robert Gützkow
    Jan 5, 2020 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ @brockmann No problem, still +150 points for me :) $\endgroup$
    – Robert Gützkow
    Jan 8, 2020 at 20:21

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