P3D v4 PBR bare metal shadows

Hi all
I have been trying to get to grips with PBR bare metal textures, but I find that any self shadowing is very faint.
If I alter my texture to make it "non-metal" ie. set the metallic RGBA red channel to black I get shadows.
Or if I alter the Alpha channel to "rough" ie black, I get shadows.
I have enhanced the under belly shading in the screenshots with AO in the "green" channel and albedo, otherwise the belly would be even lighter than it is,
but you can see where the wing shadow ignores the bare metal but shades any painted areas.
The albedo, AO and normal maps are the same in all shots.
The shadow options are checked and set at very high quality.
HDR lighting on and dynamic reflections on set low .
Can anyone tell me what am I missing or doing wrong ?
Cheers Dave



Resource contributor

The albedo map should have a "black" color where the bare metal is.
Within the metallic map (the Red Channel) should be "white" (or closer to white) where the bare metal is.

The metallic map is made up of 2 or 3 maps or textures = Red channel is the metal map. The Green channel is the Ambient Occlusion (AO). The blue channel is empty (or black). The Smoothness or Roughness (inverted to make a smoothness map) should be in either in the alpha channel of the metallic map or the alpha channel of the albedo map (but not both).
Thanks Doug
I'm with you all the way on the metallic map, but a black albedo texture for aluminium ? Are you sure that's right ? All the ally samples I have seen have a white (or near white colour)
(Anyway I tried it …. and got a black fuselage :0)
It's not the metal effect I'm having trouble with though, it's the fact that shadows don't fall on the shiny metal surfaces.


Resource contributor

You were not specific on the type of metal... Wouldn't you know it, they reversed it! :(

Try this then: for the albedo map within the area of the bare aluminum (;)): 255, 255, 255 - I thought for sure, at least on my experiments, they left it like the rest of the PBR world.

For the metallic map (red channel) of the bare aluminum area: 105, 105, 105

For the Smoothness (alpha channel) of the metallic map (bare aluminum area): 56, 56, 56

That might make it dark enough yet light enough to show the shadows... If you would show what you get with these numbers and the settings for metallic and smoothness etc.
Hi Doug
I tried your formula :pure white for the albedo metal, and the metallic red channel 105,105,105, with the alpha 56,56,56. I had a sudden thought that maybe my AO map (green channel) being mostly white might be having an effect so I tried with it turned on and off , but it made no difference. The result as you see has a shadow but not metallic .
pbr test1.jpg

and to compare this is the same time of day (10am) at the same heading with the best metal I have managed to get so far.

pbr test2.jpg



Resource contributor

It does appear that the 2nd picture shows a much better shadow, along with a better glare off the aluminium base.

You think you could share the recipe you did though?
Dave, I have similar issues getting self-shadowing and undersides shadowing to work. Sometimes I think it depends on environment factors such as in flight/on ground, etc.

Have a look at Gordon's Tigercat video, and you can see the shadowing is almost gone there, too. Looks like an early days toothing problem to me; that, or we are all making the same mistake....

Ah , so it isn't just me . I think this is an issue , so I'll post a question on LM's forum, if they don't realise there is a problem it stands little chance of getting fixed.
@Doug . No simple recipe. All the maps are textured, I'm trying to get a not too polished aluminium so for me the reflection is too bright , but I am using p3d4.5 and I believe they have already toned it down.
albedo:- base colour is 186 on average with some noise and lighter/darker patches under the details. DXT1(no alpha)
metallic :- red:- white metal areas ,but darkened scuff areas and noise. black non-metal and panel lines.
green:- white base colour with some noise and darkening, so overall range is from 186 to 245. some false local shadows..... ( metallic has A/O) on
blue: -N/A
alpha:-base for metal is 195 but with noise and local dark/light areas , black panel lines . gloss paint 204, matt 6
normal :- old bump