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Question [SOLVED] How do I eliminate all smoothness/Fresnel [specular] from the standard shader?

Discussion in 'Shaders' started by dogs_R_cool, Aug 14, 2022.

  1. dogs_R_cool


    Mar 14, 2016
    I have noticed recently that Unity's standard shader seems to have a base level of smoothness that cannot be eliminated even when setting the smoothness value to zero or hard overriding the value in the shader itself (this remains the case regardless of the smoothness source), which means that all surface shaders have a slight sheen to them and a small amount of Fresnel lighting, which is especially noticeable at acute angles or when standing on a large flat plane.
    Ordinarily this wouldn't be a huge problem, but I am using a palette limiter which makes these small differences in colour extremely obvious and potentially confusing.
    I looked all over for a solution and couldn't seem to find anything, until I revisited this page of the Unity docs and noticed that the example shader seems not to have the persistent shine. So I copied the code and compared it to the standard shader and, sure enough, the sheen is gone and the colour is the same at all angles. Below are some examples of the standard shader compared to the example one from the docs, with and without post-processing:


    Problem solved right? Just use the example shader from the docs! Unfortunately that shader only comes with support for a single directional light and no other light types. :mad:
    So I'm left with two choices: follow some huge in-depth tutorial on adding support for multiple lights and all the other things that the standard shader affords, or find out how to remove the unwanted smoothness from the standard shader and keep everything else the same.
    The latter seems more sensible to me, so how do I go about doing that? How do I eliminate the smoothness/Fresnel from the standard shader?
  2. Neto_Kokku


    Feb 15, 2018
    If you want to kill it for good, place a reflection probe and instead of having it capture the environment point it to a pure black texture.
  3. dogs_R_cool


    Mar 14, 2016
    Damn this is so close to working. Good call.
    If I place a black reflection probe I actually get the inverse problem; at acute angles surfaces tend towards black instead of white. Playing around with the colour of the probe produces some good results. If I match the probe colour with that of the surface I can totally remove all angle-dependent colour differences and artifacting. Unfortunately this only works for one colour at a time, and obviously I have a scene full of differently coloured and textured objects. Might work as a stopgap, but not a scalable solution.
    This does seem to reveal that it's actually reflections that are the problem, not Fresnel or smoothness.
  4. dogs_R_cool


    Mar 14, 2016
    SOLVED: It was the specular all along.
    I had a look at this page on surface shader lighting examples and had a good long look at the different custom lighting implementations and in particular the simple specular model which looked like something I could read and manipulate. So I brought it into my project and removed all specular calculations while still maintaining light attenuation support and voila:


    Full parity with the example shader. No colour aberration at acute angles. Full light and shadow support.

    This is what the shader code looks like:
    Code (CSharp):
    1. Shader "Custom/DiffuseWithoutSpecular"
    2. {
    3.   Properties
    4.   {
    5.       _Color ("Color", Color) = (1,1,1,1)
    6.       _MainTex ("Albedo (RGB)", 2D) = "white" {}
    7.   }
    8.   SubShader
    9.   {
    10.       Tags { "RenderType"="Opaque" }
    11.       LOD 200
    13.       CGPROGRAM
    14.       // Custom no specular lighting model with full multi-shadow support
    15.       #pragma surface surf NoSpecular fullforwardshadows
    16.       // Use shader model 3.0 target, to get nicer looking lighting
    17.       #pragma target 3.0
    20.       half4 LightingNoSpecular (SurfaceOutput s, half3 lightDir, half atten) {
    21.         half diff = max (0, dot (s.Normal, lightDir));
    22.         return half4 ((s.Albedo * _LightColor0.rgb * diff) * atten, s.Alpha);
    23.       }
    25.       struct Input
    26.       {
    27.           float2 uv_MainTex;
    28.       };
    30.       sampler2D _MainTex;
    31.       fixed4 _Color;
    33.       void surf (Input IN, inout SurfaceOutput o)
    34.       {
    35.           fixed4 c = tex2D (_MainTex, IN.uv_MainTex) * _Color;
    36.           o.Albedo = c.rgb;
    37.           o.Alpha = c.a;
    38.       }
    39.       ENDCG
    40.   }
    41.   FallBack "Diffuse"
    42. }