Metallic/shiny/glossy materials: I fail at Blender


So I’m still struggling and not giving up.

Here’s a test torus with sections of polys with a shiny silver mirror, dirty (scuffed) silver and shiny gold.
No textures, just plain materials. material test.fbx

Here’s how it looks in Blender and in HiFi:

The shape is right… nothing else is.

I’m completely at the mercy of anyone who knows better… :slight_smile:


I’m still no great shakes at Blender myself, but I’ll tinkering with it & let you know if I figure anything out. In the meantime, you may find a solution over in this thread:





For the glossiness, you must use:

  • Specular Hardness (on the material) value between 0 (mat) to 512 (glossy)
  • a specular.hardness texture (grayscale when black is mat and white is glossy)

For the metallic aspect:

  • Specular Color (on the material) value of grey (black is non-metal, white is metallic, most of the time we keep that to the extreme)
  • Specular,color texture (grayscale: black is non-metal, white is metallic, most of the time we keep that to the extreme)

Don’t expect to have a preview in Blender that fits what you will see in High Fidelity.
The best renderer you have when you create in blender for Hifi is definitely the one you have between your two ears :wink:


I probably watched Menithal’s PBR tutorial ten times…

But his tutorials uses texture maps to control the parameters, maybe there’s a problem when using purely parametric control?

I’ll try to make more test objects with varying parameters.


Here’s an old Message that shows a test almost exactly like mine:

What are the properties you used?


To get Gold for exemple, you must have the yellow color set on the difusse.color (or the map)
and the specular.color set to white.

Regarding: Specular.Intensity, this is not really used. (It’s Metalness mode) You can keep it with the default value (0.5).

Here some good value to use as color(difusse) for typic metals:

Another good hint … about Normal map…
You need those 2 thing checked:


Damn… you put shadows under the arrows… you’re forcing me to up my diagram game.
This is going to cost me hours of my life this year, for sure! :grin:


I’m very grateful for the help, but I must be missing something.
Do I absolutely have to have some sort of texture map?

These two Suzannes have these properties but no mapping.
One has mirror turned on at 50% white and it has no effect.

The good news: I still have not given up! mirror 1.fbx


Do you have a ambient light set in your zone? Shine does not look right without it.


I missed the screencap in my previous reply.

Anyway the monkeys keep breeding but no metal in sight,


I’m using the tree island from, I just increased ambient light and it makes thing interesting, but not any closer to what I want.


According this setup, in High Fidelity, you must get a very flat yellow (mustard) monkey head.

I understand that you want to get a gold monkey head, isn’t it?

If so:

Setup for the Diffuse.color is OK (no 1)
(probably a bit too yellow for gold but well, it’S not the problem here.)

Setup for Specular.Color (no 2)
is also OK, since white will make this fully metal.

Setup for Specular.Hardness (no 3)
50 is definitely too flat.
More it is hard, more glossy it will be. Less it is hard more it will be rough / mat / flat.
The scale goes from 0 (completly mat) to 512 (totally mirror)
If you want to do good metallic effect, it must be at least between 256 to 512.

300 will look like something like this:

500 will look more shinny, a bit like this:

I would go for around 400 personally…
around 500 it’s too shiny and it reflects so much the skybox that it breaks the immersion.

Another point… the default Sky/Ambient in High Fidelity is definitely not the best condition to appreciate the shiny effect on metal.

Also, Mirror parameter is not used.
And Map are facultative. (it does the same thing but based on textures)
You can use a mix of maps and Material param too.


Thank you for all the help, everyone!

I’ll have to pick this up tomorrow, it’s 5 AM already. :open_mouth:

I’ll have to make something better than just a golden monkey’s head to give back to the community… :wink:


Everybody fails at blender, the goal is to fail a little bit less, I don’t have the skills, Blender or communicative to explain how it all works but I can share some of tips that helped me fail less.

Download some of the sample models and look at them in blender, the M and V’s in the filenames tells you if a particular channel is set by a Value or Map, some are a bit weird and have unassigned maps but it’s a good starting point.

Blender WILL fk you over, I have had several issues where all textures was applied to the diffuse color channel in the fbx export, regardless of the setting in ‘influences’, if in doubt, start from scratch in a new project and remember to restart blender, some things like unused textures tend to linger around if you don’t. You can export your model as a .obj and un-check ‘write materials’ to clear it of material weirdness.

these are the material properties hifi uses:
basically, most properties can be set by either a value (all of the material), or a map (select parts of the material)

Look at the PBR Materials Guide in the doc’s, while it is a lot less messy after the recent update, it is a bit lacking and not entirely correct in some places but still worth a look:

You can also use material entities, that way you can tweak the material properties directly in hifi by changing the ‘materialData’ values:

  "materialVersion": 1,
  "materials": {
    "model": "hifi_pbr",
    "name": "testmaterial",
    "emissive": [0,0,0],
    "albedo": [1, 1, 1],
    "roughness": 0.9,
    "opacity": 1,
    "unlit": 0,
    "metallic": 0.8

look at to see how to use it.

Try, fail, take a walk, rinse & repeat…


@Silverfish FTW!

Test models are exactly what I need!


That’s the crown I always wear. It was made in Blender. It has NO textures on it.
Here are my material settings:


@DrFran For the kill!

I’m finally the proud owner of a gold monkey head!