How to achieve shadowy depth and better texturing?


So my models that I make in Blender 3D look very bland inside Roblox Studio. I would like to add some depth to the models, but I’m not sure how this is achieved.

This is what it looks like in Blender:

This is what it looks like in the studio:

Now, I would like to use Bloxburg as an example because their shadowy depth looks good.:

I’m wondering how this is achieved.

There are a couple techniques you could try out. My guess is that the main reason why your models look bland in studio compared to Blender is because of ambient occlusion. Your Blender view applies a lot more ambient occlusion to your scene. Roblox also applies ambient occlusion, but to a lesser extent / on a different scale - and the amount may also depend on what your lighting Technology is set to. Ambient occlusion is essentially the process of darkening areas light can’t reach as easily.


There are a couple ways to improve ambient occlusion manually. It’s too much to explain everything, but two options are:

  • Apply (dark) vertex coloring to vertices in your mesh that are in creases. These vertices will then also appear darker in-engine.
  • Apply a texture to your MeshParts where you apply a gradient going from (semi-transparent) black to fully transparent along edges that should appear darker. You will need to combine this with a SurfaceAppearance if you want to keep your mesh recolorable in studio.

Here’s a material I made recently where I added this darker gradient to add more ‘depth’. The right side has a harsher gradient applied to it than the left side.

Another reason for your MeshParts looking bland is the way you light your scene. I am guessing that Bloxburg uses Future lighting while your studio scene uses ShadowMap. From what I know the way surfaces reflect light in ShadowMap is basically determined by what the sun touches. You’ll notice that in indoor scenes all PBR materials look very flat. With Future lighting this is not the case and PointLights, SurfaceLights and so on will accentuate the shape/depth of your meshes a lot better.

Finally, and this is only a minor point, the materials you applied to your cabinets have a high contrast. It’s a lot easier to see the depth/shadows of your meshes when the texture applied to them is a solid color. With higher contrast images the shadows will be harder to see due to the noise. In the case of Bloxburg those cabinets all have basically just solid color textures, which helps highlight the shadows.


Turn on Future Lighting. Make sure studio graphics are at max.

Add lights other than the Sun, add a roof, light, etc. to actually have something to catch those shadows at a nice angle.