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I am trying to make a die that looks glossy (as most dice do), but using the glossy shader in the way I did fades out the texture underneath. The pips turn into a grayish metallic color, and the whole image texture looses its strength. So I need to find a way to make it look glossy but still an obvious texture underneath. How can I do this?

This is on 2.73.

Picture of Die and Nodes

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  • $\begingroup$ It's hard to understand what you are trying to do. You can try a few things: A- Adding the texture to the color on the Glossy shader. B- Using Add Shader instead of Mix Shader. $\endgroup$ – cegaton May 17 '16 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe go on www.blendswap.com, download a material of your liking and use that for reference to work off of. $\endgroup$ – shadowcopalypse May 17 '16 at 17:29
  • $\begingroup$ notice how the pips on the top are not black, but more of a greyish color? I need them to still keep the black color while being able to shine. $\endgroup$ – BleakSnowman May 17 '16 at 17:39
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    $\begingroup$ The problem with physically based rendering is that there are a lot of environmental stuff you have to build around your model to make reflections (or gloss) look good. Try using an HDR environment map or a more complicated area. Black worlds make gloss renders dull. $\endgroup$ – Kirbinator May 17 '16 at 20:31
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This answer won't be an answer to your question directly, but I believe it will help you achieve what you want.

Before you do anything in blender, first try this: place a lightsource low on a flat, slightly reflective surface, for example a wooden table. Look at the reflection of the lightsource on the surface from a high point of view and a low point of view. You will see that the surface is more reflective when looked at from a low angle than a high angle. Basically, the angle at which you are looking at the surface influences how reflective the surface is.

Now back to blender. In order to create a realistic looking material, you need to use the same principle. In your current node setup, you are simply mixing a glossy shader with a diffuse shader. This means that your object will be half the color of the texture, and half the color of the light it is reflecting, which is most often white. And a black texture and a white reflection create, as you can probably guess, a grey mess, no matter from what angle you are looking at it.

In order to fix this problem, you need the material to behave like a real world material, like the surface from earlier in this answer. This sounds much harder than it actually is, the only thing you have to do is connect a fresnel node to the fac input of the mix shader, and you're done.

The fresnel shader connected to the mix shader: enter image description here

From left to right: a diffuse only material, a material with diffuse and glossy mixed with a value of 0.5, and the above material with the fresnel node. enter image description here

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Your texture is being washed out because your Fac value is too high.

Your mix shader controls how visible the gloss is (but not how sharp it is), versus how visible the diffuse is. Turning the Fac value down will mix in less gloss, and let the diffuse show through. This is to be expected. Think about a VERY shiny floor. If you can see your reflection in the floor, you can't really see the color of the floor. The more like a mirror it is... the less you can see the diffuse, and the more you see the reflection... just like a mirror.

Ezra's suggestion is a great way to make your gloss more realistic, but it only incidentally changes how much gloss us used.

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