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I recently upgraded from Blender 3.6.5 to Blender 4.0 and I've noticed that some of my existing materials are rendering differently, some subtle, some dramatically different. Is there something fundamental I can tweak to get my materials looking the way they used to?

For example, in the attached screenshot, under Blender 4 the lunar surface looks darker and is lacking the contrast seen under Blender 3.6.5.

I think the problem is the lunar surface normal map being mixed with the bump map. Works fine in 3.6.5, but makes things look way dark in 4.0 Any suggestions? Thanks.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I think they have slightly changed the Principled BSDF settings, not sure you can do anything except tweaking the values until you get what you want $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the response. Yeah, I see that the Principled BSDF node has been reorganized, and in some cases now existing materials using textures look very different. :( $\endgroup$
    – WilburPost
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ In some cases I find I can fix a Blender 4 material issue by replacing the existing Principled BSDF node with a new default Principled BSDF node. Suppose it could be I had an unnecessary setting in the existing Principled BSDF that was inconsequential for Blender 3.6.5, but causes issues with 4.0? $\endgroup$
    – WilburPost
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ see what they say on this page: "The order of the different layers has been adjusted to allow for more flexibility when mixing between them." blender.org/download/releases/4-0/#reel it looks like the inner organization of the different shaders within the Principled has been changed. Maybe in some cases you should use simple shaders instead of the Principled BSDF. $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 18:23
  • $\begingroup$ I updated the OP. I think I've traced the issue to the normal map (see above). $\endgroup$
    – WilburPost
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 21:11

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The quick fix is to render the project in the version it was authored in. There has been many fixes that are known to change the look of renders in Blender 4.0. If you want to use these materials in new projects in Blender 4.0, you will need to edit them one by one to get the look you want again. The more complex your shaders are, the more time this is going to take.

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