I'm trying to make a gun for an alien space ship and I need to know how to create a dark gray metal look. I have tried mixing a Diffuse and Glossy BSDF, but it isn't quite what I am looking for. I need some light falloff to help get that "extra touch", but I don't know how to do that.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Have you tried an Anisotropic BSDF? BlenderGuru has a nice tutorial about anisotropic shading in Cycles. $\endgroup$
    – wchargin
    Jun 9, 2013 at 22:42
  • $\begingroup$ No because anisotropic shading is bidirectional mostly I don't want the light to splay out I want it to kind of diffuse across the surface but still be kinda shiny. $\endgroup$ Jun 9, 2013 at 22:50
  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking for a node setup? That's a bit of a tutorial request and there are tons out there already. Google "Cycles Metal Material Setup" should show some good results. You can also download a node setup from blendswap.com $\endgroup$
    – CharlesL
    Jun 9, 2013 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ ok I'll try that $\endgroup$ Jun 9, 2013 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ @OwenPatterson there are a few nice setups in this blend: blendswap.com/blends/view/56470 $\endgroup$
    – CharlesL
    Jun 10, 2013 at 0:01

3 Answers 3


I would recommend applying a normal map, using a glossy shader and then bumping up the roughness to your liking.

Example Example of metal shader in cycles

Here's what I did

Glossy shader color (hex)


Roughness amount


Normal map

Cloud normal map for metals

  • $\begingroup$ Where did you get the normal map? $\endgroup$ Jun 10, 2013 at 11:45
  • $\begingroup$ OMG the results rock! THNKs $\endgroup$ Jun 10, 2013 at 12:24
  • $\begingroup$ I created it using mapzone. It's free software but it takes a while to learn, unless your already skilled in texturing. You can keep the texture $\endgroup$ Jun 10, 2013 at 17:52

When recreating real-world materials you need to have a good mental model of how they behave and interact with light from different angles. Collect as many images as possible of the material, preferably under different lighting conditions. This collection can be an ongoing library of images for future reference.

If looking for tutorials, don't limit yourself to Blender centric tutorials or even specifically ones for Cycles. Material shading techniques are largely generalized concepts that apply to any type of shading system -- which is great because you get the best of the Blender world and the best of the terrabytes of non Blender tutorials.


You likely need to look into Fresnel or the layer weight node. Also metal does not look like anything without something to reflect so add a HDRI light source. Last add a texture to your roughness. You might also want a good bump map.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .