Reflection is a property you add to a material to emulate reflective objects like mirrors and shiny surfaces.
Reflection is accomplished in a ray trace renderer by following a ray from the eye to the mirror and then calculating where it bounces from, and continuing the process until no surface is found, or a non-reflective surface is found. Reflection on a shiny surface like wood or tile can add to the photorealistic effects of a 3D rendering.
- Polished - A Polished Reflection is an undisturbed reflection, like a mirror or chrome.
- Blurry - A Blurry Reflection means that tiny random bumps on the surface of the material cause the reflection to be blurry.
- Metallic - A reflection is Metallic if the highlights and reflections retain the color of the reflective object.
- Glossy - This term can be misused. Sometimes it is a setting which is the opposite of Blurry. (When "Glossiness has a low value, the reflection is blurry.) However, some people use the term "Glossy Reflection" as a synonym for "Blurred Reflection".Glossy used in this meaning means that the reflection is actually blurred.
One of the best things that you can do to improve a rendering is to focus on the details. It’s the details that can increase realism of a rendering and one detail that many users over look is adding reflection to all the materials in a model that need it. Not only that, but you must also apply the correct kind and the correct intensity of a reflection to a material.
Users normally apply reflections to the noticeable objects in a rendered scene such as a mirror but often forget about the small objects like a table top, or a door knob or other accessories. Spending time on these details can make the difference between a boring, flat image and an engaging, realistic one.
Polished or Mirror reflection
Mirrors are usually almost 100% reflective.
Normal, (non metallic), objects reflect light and colors in the original color of the object being reflected.
Metallic objects reflect lights and colors altered by the color of the metallic object itself.
- See: Metallic Reflection
Many materials are imperfect reflectors, where the reflections are blurred to various degrees due to surface roughness that scatters the rays of the reflections.
See: Blurry Reflection
Fully glossy reflection, shows highlights from light sources, but does not show a cleat reflection from objects.
- See: Glossy Reflection
Setting reflection values
It will take some experimentation to determine the amount of reflection desired.
For example, these two images have wood reflection set to 50% and 80%
Creating Reflective Materials
To make a material reflective:
- Right click on a face which use the material, and select IRender: Edit Material
- This will load the Material Wizard .
- Select the Reflective material type from the defaults on the left.
- Use the slider bar to select the reflection desired.
Then whenever you use this material, it will be reflective.
For instance, the material applied to the mirror in these models has been set to 90% reflective.