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Defaults: change material color and studio lights

Authored by Brecht Van Lommel (brecht) on May 23 2019, 6:01 PM.


  • Change default material colors to 0.7 instead of 0.8, which is closer to real world white paper instead of fresh snow.
  • Add default studio light with more contrast, and use as default instead of matcaps again.

The studio light setup was created by Clément.

Diff Detail

rB Blender
default-shading (branched from master)
Build Status
Buildable 3698
Build 3698: arc lint + arc unit

Event Timeline

Matcap + 0.8Studio + 0.7

Reasons for going with studio light over matcaps:

  • Material colors better show true colors, instead of being darkened/tinted by matcap.
  • Roughness and Metallic settings from the material Viewport Display panel will do something by default
  • Texture color type does not work for matcaps currently, which useful for texture painting

Generally fine, although the sudio lights feel a bit flat.

  • The area in shadow is very small.
  • The highlight is quite small (more shiny then the matcap).
  • Between the specular and shadow there isn't much tonal variation (making the surface look flat).

While not terrible, think we could try for something closer to the matcap? - Also, think the studio-light could be darker, it's still quite bright (compared to 2.7x for eg).

I'm ok with that but I want to point that I don't think lowering the albedo is solving anything.

  • Making it 0.7 is really tiny change and does not offer much more contrast.
  • I would point out that 0.8 is a convention around 3D software. So changing that make us looks less standard. ( I know, weak argument..)
  • If you want more contrast in object mode we just need to tweak the lighting (even further)!

I would also point out that making the default roughness 0.3 does match the target matcap better.

If we want to increase edit mode readability we need to create contrast by adding more local contrast on the overlay elements not the mesh shading itself. Like setting the face overlay to white with a little alpha.

@Clément Foucault (fclem), can you then create a patch with a better studio light and contrast for overlays?

I haven't been involved in picking the current overlay style and colors, I just want to get to a situation where we have good defaults as soon as possible.

I've committed an updated default studio light now that is closer to the matcap, and made it the default.
rBdd4a2682216c: Viewport: add more contrast to default studio light, make it default again

Further tweaking can happen in D4939: Viewport: Change default studiolight.