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I have a SkyGradient Node as follows, made initially in Eevee: Node Group enter image description here

The background in eevee looks like so: Eevee output

But when I switched to cycles, the background gradient disappeared and turned into a solid color: Cycles Output

I want the gradient to stay in cycles too, but couldn't find online why this happens, or how to fix it. Any help would be appreciated.

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  • $\begingroup$ You’ve shown the nodes within the SkyGradient node group but not how that group connects to the World output. I can kind of make out what’s there but not enough to be sure. Please update your question to include an image of the rest of the nodes. $\endgroup$ Oct 26, 2021 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ I have added it now. The final node just connected to the world surface output so I didn't think it necessary to include. $\endgroup$ Oct 27, 2021 at 4:17
  • $\begingroup$ In cycles, objects are affected by world lighting the way they would be in real life- they respond to bounced light from the environment and get colored accordingly. EEVEE fakes this by simply reflecting the world background (encumbered only by the "roughness" of the object) - you will still see this reflection even if the object is "inside" and the world environment has no direct light path to it. $\endgroup$ Oct 27, 2021 at 18:23

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The problem is due to how the Camera Data 'View Vector' is handled between the two render engines - on Eevee it's a vector specific to that ray but under Cycles it seems to be effectively the camera direction, as far as I can tell with some basic investigation.

The two render engines (Eevee and Cycles) use completely different methods to render the scene (Cycles is a raytracer while Eevee is a rasteriser). This means that the "rays" are handled differently and so the results are different.

To retain the 'gradient' you need use a different quantity - one that's more consistent between engines. For example, you can get a similar effect using the 'Generated' coordinates and this seems to produce very similar results. In fact, the Texture Coordinates seems to produce results quite similar to the View Vector in Eevee and is also consistent in Cycles.

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