A bit new to shader nodes so may be a dumb question.... Render engine is Cycles but same issue with Eevee.

I am using a Glossy BSDF node to generate the reflection window on a dome.

Plugged straight into the Material output I have a nice grey scale on the surface with window as expected:-

enter image description here

The plan was to then plug it into the factor input of another shader but not working as I had expected:-

Simplified to show the issue, I have a mix shader with two different color inputs and have plugged in the output of the glossy shader into the factor expecting this to mix shading of the colors ie reflective window mostly color 1 and the rest of the dome color 2. This is what I get:-

enter image description here

Understand that I am plugging color into factor but have read that this can be done as it uses brightness. Also tried putting it through the RGB to BW node but no difference.

enter image description here

To see output of the BW conversion I tried plugging that straight into the output. Color is inverted but window is lost so looks like more of the same problem.

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Obviously I am misunderstanding how this works? Any tips?

  • $\begingroup$ Founder a Shader to RGB converter node in Eeevee and tried that too but no change. $\endgroup$
    – PJ3D
    Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 8:23
  • $\begingroup$ whenever a connection is red, you did something wrong. So you mixed up types. e.g.mixed color with a shader. A color is not the same type as a shader. Like Float is not the same type as integer. Although Blender might allow to plug a float in an integer (sometimes). Maybe you should watch first some shader nodes tutorials (just search in google for "blender shader nodes tutorial" - you will find lot's of them, to get a basic understanding. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 10:54
  • $\begingroup$ @PJ3D It works, but only with Eevee or in Mat Preview : i.sstatic.net/e55s5.png It's very dependant on the HDRI though $\endgroup$
    – Gorgious
    Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 19:03
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, could you elaborate on what you're trying to accomplish? Like, what is the final result you're looking for. Do you want shiny glass with a green tint? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 19:00
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Chris, was trying to overcome shortcomings in Cycles for transmission which doesnt render well unless you give it thousands of passes. I wanted both reflection and refraction to make it look real. I understand now that BSDF outputs are not the same as color outputs which is why above didn't work. I have worked out a not great workaround but passable for now. Maybe transmission will be better in Cycles X. Will post my workaround as an answer. $\endgroup$
    – PJ3D
    Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 4:11

1 Answer 1


Answer: Wasn't working as you can't plug BSDF into Color (rookie error). I have fixed the problem (getting reflection and nice clear transmission by mixing a Transparency shader with Principled shader. The Principled shader provides the reflection (which Transparency does not) and the Transparency shader gives a nice clear view through the glass without the thousands of passes needed for clear transmission. Only missing the distortion that comes from refraction but an OK compromise for my purposes.

enter image description here


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