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I am following a tutorial. The author added a Color Ramp node to connect with roughness in Principled BSDF to control roughness. enter image description here

I'm new to Blender and wondering if it's okay to skip color Ramp to connect with Basecolor and adjust roughness in principled BSDF directly? enter image description here

What's the point of using Color Ramp to adjust roughness?

thanks in advance!

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  • $\begingroup$ I think Josh has already given a sufficient answer, I'm just wondering: what kind of tutorial is this, do they not explain why they do it that way? If not, I would really recommend you try to find some tutorials on texturing to get a basic understanding of what you can do with textures in a material because this is a powerful tool for getting great models. $\endgroup$ Oct 11, 2023 at 5:50

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Your node tree is simply a totally different effect: when you set a roughness value in the Principled BSDF Node, every zone of the surface gets the same amount, while if you connect an image the luminosity value of every pixel is assigned as roughness value.

it's a common technique to use images of damages, dust, dirt, scratches, and plug them into the roughness input, so that the base color input isn't affected, and it can receive a different color or texture, while the damage texture introduces small variations on the surface.

As white means totally dull in roughness terms, and black means totally shiny, a color ramp node is frequently used to control the effect, avoiding theese two extremes if they are not compatible with the desired material appearance.

Of course, feel free to experiment every combination of textures, nodes and wirings, but probably, as you get familiar with their behaviours, you will end up with plugging a damage node into the roughness, via a color ramp node.

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