AbstractIn the current work, the evolutions of grain and dislocation microstructures are investigated on the basis of plane strain tension and simple shear tests for an interstitial free steel (DC06) and a 6000 series aluminum alloy (AA6016-T4). Both materials are commonly-used materials in the automobile industry. The focus of this contribution is on the characterization and comparison of the microstructure formation in DC06 and AA6016-T4. Our observations shed light on the active mechanisms at the micro scale governing the macroscopic response. This knowledge is of great importance to understand the physical deformation mechanisms, allowing the control and design of new, tailor-made materials with the desired material behavior.