Black areas on object, but right in front of sun

I just started learning Blender, and it is my first real experience with such a powerful graphics program. I have gone through the donut tutorial online.

My issue is that this capsule I am making has black areas despite being right in front of the sun. This is rendered with cycles. What might be wrong? It looks like I am not allowed to upload my Blender file.

At a casual glance, it looks like your object is too reflective, and that black spot is the sky being bounced back at you. Play around with your shader settings some.

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This is a common trick in photography to create dummy objects around the scene and behind the camera so light can be diffused better or to achieve better reflections. For the record if you look at a photography tutorial (not at all 3D - plain photography only) in youtube you will get a better idea how to make your scenes even better.

Ehm, no. Although it’s fine to know about photography tricks, you want to recreate them using tricks of the 3D trade. You really don’t want to light with bounced light when you can add the effect of a bounced light with actual lights - lights that a real photographer may not have or be able to control and position as desired.

If you’re not allowed to upload here, try

OK in terms of mathematics they are be exactly the same but the only difference is to get more variety in shadows and reflections. Such as other times you need beam lights, other times donut lights, other time neon lights, etc… So in sense is that the photographer tries to “paint ontop of the surface” rather than “just make scene brighter”.

I had it on 100% metallic. Lowering that fixed the issue, but I am not happy that going 100% caused this issue. Perhaps adding an environment/background would prevent this?

A better environment map, and if you want your underlying color to show some more, a roughness map would help break things up a bit.

What I meant is that lighting with indirect light is extremely costly so you want to avoid it. As an example, try to light a face using backlit sun off a silver reflector :wink: Although lighting with caustics is exceptionally bad, also lighting with a diffuse place is lots worse than setting up an area light in its place. Same is true for translucent surfaces. You want to eliminate these as much as possible if they are to provide significant scene lighting, and rely on fakes instead. Not because they are more accurate (they’re not, not by a long shot), but because you can afford the time involved to render to achieve acceptable noise levels.

I see, in complex scenes (such as a home interior with lots of items) however it might be difficult to control things better. There might be a trick to let the material ignore indirect rays and accept only pure light sources, where with dozens of dummy lights all sorts of effects can be achieved.

I have not gone into these sort of hacks yet but is a good place to start.

Well, that’s kind of how lighters worked in the old days - before GI was even invented. Direct light only, and setup the GI manually. I was never a lighter, but I can imagine it being hell on earth :smiley: And even that would get kinda slow, because of the number of lights involved. 100 lights not uncommon.

I’m not saying never use indirect lights. I use them all the time. but I try to mitigate their bad behavior in various ways. Such as providing additional lighting that overpowers the noise - even adding some global AO may help out, using fake emission shaders on a lamp shade instead of relying translucency lit by a bulb inside. If I can get away with it.