I am following a Blender Guru tutorial titled: The Basics of Good Texturing in Blender.

The result of his tutorial, his final render, is MUCH higher quality than my result. I eventually got frustrated and jacked samples and resolution% up to 2000 samples and 1920x1080 | 100% to no avail. As I said I have been using Blender for no more than a couple of days so almost anything and everything is greatly appreciated. The question of this post: Why does my result differ so much in quality from Blender Guru's even though I followed the tutorial to a T? Does my result only look bad to me because I expected too much?

Here are my cycles material nodes:
enter image description here

My result: enter image description here
Blender Guru's result: enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Blender Guru just posted something today, blenderguru.com/tutorials/photorealistic-wood This may help explain things in a little further detail. $\endgroup$
    – icYou520
    Dec 22, 2016 at 23:13
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    $\begingroup$ @icYou I actually watched that video as well. I was going to follow that tutorial but I required a 'premium membership' to poliigon to obtain the hi-res textures that he used. Nevertheless I did watch it without following a long, nothing much changed with the nodes other than a custom node (PBR Nodes). I am confused as to why his render looked so much better than mine although i mirrored his exact tutorial. $\endgroup$
    – Curt15pb
    Dec 22, 2016 at 23:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Curt15pb sorry to bother you again, but you need to pack files before uploading the blend. The blend has no textures, so it is all pink, and pretty useless. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Dec 22, 2016 at 23:19
  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm... not sure. The "grain" you are seeing is the normal bump map. Maybe turn down the strength to .6 or so and see how that looks. To be honest I wouldnt use this set up though. There are better ways to do it. This was the old way of setting up the nodes. It is VERY important to use the new UBER shaders that he showed in the new video. You HAVE to have FRESNEL for realistic renders. The new shader takes care of this (among other things). $\endgroup$
    – icYou520
    Dec 22, 2016 at 23:22
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    $\begingroup$ O, well then just put the textures on imgur, and I'll use the blend you already uploaded. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Dec 22, 2016 at 23:26

1 Answer 1


Ok, after looking at your nodes, scene, and the images it all came down to two small values. (They were also the only things you have different from the tutorial)

cycles nodes

The most important setting here is the Strength of the Bump node. One is too strong in almost every case. Andrew uses 0.1, but I used 0.15, either way, turn it down and you will see it look much better.

The second setting you want to change is the Roughness of the Glossy BSDF node. The default 0.2 is kind of rough, and you might not even see the reflections at all. Both Andrew and I use 0.1, which may not sound like much but on the scale of Pure mirror to diffuse, .1 makes a big difference.

Here is the exact same scene, only difference is the strength of the roughness in the glossy shader. 0.1 is on the left, and 0.2 is on the right. difference in roughness of glossy shader

Notice with the more scattered, or diffused (0.2) value the reflection just mix in and you really cant tell what should be reflecting.

  • $\begingroup$ I can not believe I overlooked this to that extent, I can't thank you enough for the help. One more question before I am completely satisfied. What would you recommend to be the "optimal" render settings: samples, resolution%, etc. I feel like 2000 is too much and I'm not ENTIRELY sure what the resolution percentage does (My understanding is it literally cuts the resolution (1920x1080) in half, at 50%) If I knew of a way to "upvote" your profile or increase your reputation I would, if there is let me know. Again, thanks so much for the help. $\endgroup$
    – Curt15pb
    Dec 23, 2016 at 0:06
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    $\begingroup$ No problem. thank for the kind comment. You are right about the render size the samples are relative for each scene; for this 100 is probably ok. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Dec 23, 2016 at 0:09

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