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Rendering Loses Highlights and Reflections at Higher Resolutions

Question asked by Andrew Lowe on Jan 18, 2013

I'm trying to diagnose an ongoing issue I have been having while trying to rendering a forged steel appearance.


The Photoview preview window shows the image as I want it. When rendering at lower resolutions, the completed rendering matches the preview window. As the resolution is increased, the reflectivity of the material is reduced. I have uploaded a comparison image showing renderings at 500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 pixels square.


I contacted my VAR for this issue, and received the following:


"Your SR 1-3271417872 (VAR SR# C13-01019  ) has been updated


I find that the highlights are still present when rendering at higher resolutions. However, the transition between the light and dark areas is more subtle due to the higher resolution.  This is intended behavior.  In order to make the model appear "shinier" with more contrast between the light and dark areas, you could try changing the following appearance values:


- decrease specular spread/blurriness (.1)

- increase reflection amount (.9)

- uncheck blurry reflections"


This answer is useless to me, as essentially I'm being told to guess at the image should look like when rendering at high resolutions. Even following the instructions the image at 4000px does not look like the carefully set up preview window. I just want the 4000px rendering to match the preview window exactly.


I'm using the Cast Steel appearance, with changes to the default illumination settings and map size to achieve the desired look. The environment is a custom HDR image. One spot light is used to help achieve the highlights.


The attached images clearly show the issue I'm having. The higher resolutions have all been scaled from their original sizes in Photoshop.