Basic Rendering Help (Black Plastic)

Alright, so I’ve used Flamingo for rendering colored plastics for one of my employers, but now I’m trying to convince a different one to invest and since most of their products are black plastic I’m trying to produce sample renders similar to this

The problem is that the behavior of the lighting with the default black plastic is very weird and I don’t know what parameters to tweak. If I just use the default studio lighting the top surface is incredibly glossy, no matter how I adjust the material parameters and no matter how low I drop the intensity on the sky lighting

If I drop the sky lighting to zero and just try using a few spotlights though, what I get is pitch darkness and extremely bright surfaces, even if the spotlights are at low wattage

(This is what the setup for that second image looks like by the way )

For colored plastics in the past this has never really been a problem. Any advice is appreciated

Put a plane under the model. Or if there is no ground plane and your background color is White, decrease the ‘brightness’ in the ‘adjust image’ section of the nXt render window.

Thanks. It seems weird to me that adjusting the intensity of the various lighting sources doesn’t seem to impact the image brightness noticeably…

nXt has a tone mapping feature that adjusts the result so you in theory always get a tonally balanced image. This is a unique feature of nXt and also what I believe is causing the problem for you here. Hopefully the method I described helps in this case.

If you are trying different render plugins for Rhino, you might like Maxwell or Octane too. They can be used pretty simply like nXt with minimal setup.