How can I make a material that will shine brightly when hit by sunlight?

You can see at this link: that the spaceship has a very brightly glowing reflection which is seen when the spaceship is looked at from the right angle. My question is, how can I use the cycles rendering engine and the compositor (potentially) to make that same material. Something dark gray that shines and glows very brightly when looked at. I’m making a spaceship for those wondering and you can see my progress so far at this link: the only problem I have is that the reflections don’t shine and glow like they do in the first image. Does anyone know how I can resolve this problem?

Your bump map and roughness might be too high, its diffusing the light in all different directions. Also try turning up the rflectivity on my material. But I think they root of the problem is your bump map is too strong, so the light is deflecting in many directions instead of straight back.

I remember seeing an awesome image once that depicts how light reflect, but I can’t find it. Let me see if I can recreate it.

Basically, This depicts how light reflects on a rough surface vs a shiny surface. On a rough surface the light deflects every which way.

Another thought, By looking at the graininess. With my experience with cycles, very reflective surfaces take a lot of passes to get rid of the graininess. I was rendering glass with liquid in it and even after 4000 passes (or maybe more) my liquid was still incredible grainy. So it also might have something do do with how many passes you have let cycles take in that render. If its the default like 10 or 20 passes that blender renders in the view port, it might just not be enough to get the look your going for.

I have no bump map applied so I don’t think anything is scattering the light

It strikes me that they have a very tightly-focused square spotlight, and it may be that they’re playing games with the materials. Probably what I would do in this case is to shoot the overall object with Cycles, and composite a BI-generated spotlight effect on top of it.

Instead of a Mix Shaders, use Add Shaders.

Making your light an actual emitting sphere can help you tweak the results better.

An alternative way to add extra brightness might be adding a spotlight, and pointing it a the center of the glare.

As for that fuzzy brightness effect seen on the EVE ship, that’s called Bloom, and it’s a post-processing thing. You can make it in either photoshop or using blender compositing nodes.