Since the innovation of composite roofing in the 1990's, cedar has been very difficult to mimic. Cedar has multiple tones, has a matte color and is solid all the way through the shake. Traditional synthetics on the other hand have been monochrome, glossy and hollow. The cut edge of a hollow plastic shake gives a very ugly and fake appearance on the edges of the roof.
These issues have been resolved with the CeDUR composite shake. CeDUR has multiple tones, a matte finish and is a solid synthetic shake with the color all the way through the product. Look closely at the edges of this roof we installed... looks completely natural.
Even in this close-up overhead photo below it looks like stained wood. Imagine trying to differentiate from standing on the ground.