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Lighted surfaces too light, shaded surfaces too dark - is there a fix?

Question asked by Caleb Youker on May 24, 2016
Latest reply on May 24, 2016 by Caleb Youker

Here is an image.  This part is light gray, but you'd never know it from any of the screenshots.

 

The surface facing the screen, even though there is a directional light pointing right at it (I even tripled the intensity of it just to get it to show as light as it does).

 

Is there a way to get this shading to not be so extreme in both light and dark?  While rotating the part the surfaces flash between light and dark, just a tiny adjustment can alter the color drastically:

Top surface is white, the back surface is close to the actual color.

Part rotated just a few degrees, top surface is now black.

 

I've been working in "Hidden lines removed" mode just to avoid this annoyance but now I need screen shots and there's no way to rotate the assembly into a position that doesn't look terrible.  I have played with the light intensity and position for 4 hours now and just simply cannot get all the features to show clearly.

 

Is there a fix for this?  I searched all morning, which is how I figured out how to adjust lighting, but seems like no matter what I do I can't avoid large pure white, and large dark black areas.

 

Any help is appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

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