Is it possible to illuminate a black plane?

Hi there, I have been trying to illuminate a black plane with lights and for some reason the plane always stays solid black and does not receive any light.

Thank you!


  • NickDevTeam
    NickDevTeam Staff Posts: 54 Staff

    Hi @jtjutsvfx

    You may need to use a very low value instead of full black. At RGB(0,0,0), anything multiplied by zero (no matter how big) is going to be zero. In the real world, completely black surfaces (in theory) will sufficiency absorb enough of the spectrum that nothing is bounced off (the darkest material they've created IRL is apparently quite disturbing to look at). Most black materials we see IRL have either dust, or a number of surface variations that mean that 'some' light is being bounced off back at us.

    In short, try values like (5,5,5) or (10,10,10) and see if you're able to get some light interactions.

  • jtjutsvfx
    jtjutsvfx Posts: 81 Enthusiast

    Thank you so much! I'll go with this!

    Have a nice day!😁

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,069 Ambassador

    @NickDevTeam is 100% correct.

    I recommend a value of 16,16,16. In NTSC and PAL Standard Def video, blacks didn't actually go to black (audio lived in that bandwidth), and 16, 16, 16 happens to be the value of NTSC/PAL "black."

    As a general note for the future no color channel in anything that's going to be lit (or of the light itself) should ever be 0. Things just won't light correctly. There's a longer discussion here, but just trust me on this for now.

  • jtjutsvfx
    jtjutsvfx Posts: 81 Enthusiast