Reflections and Mirrors

Make any SketchUp material reflective with a simple right click edit.

You can start with a default Reflective Material and use a slider bar th change the amount of reflection.

You can also add other special features - such as shininess/bluriness, glossiness or metallic reflection.

Add mirrors and glossy surfaces

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.


Reflection Overview

The reflections help to add realism to this model.
This is boring and flat without reflections.

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

Mirror on wall rendered with 100% reflection.

Mirrors are usually almost 100% reflective.

Metallic Reflection

The large sphere on the left is blue with its reflection marked as metallic. The large sphere on the right is the same color but does not have the metallic property selected.

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.

Blurry Reflection

The large sphere on the left has shapness set to 100%. The sphere on the right has sharpness set to 50% which creates a blurry 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

Glossy Reflection

The sphere on the left has normal, metallic reflection. The sphere on the right has the same parameters, except that the reflection is marked as "glossy".

Fully glossy reflection, shows highlights from light sources, but does not show a cleat reflection from objects.

Setting reflection values

To define reflective materials in IRender or AccuRender nXt for Revit , use the Material Wizard to make a material reflective.

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%

50% reflection for wood counter.
80% reflection for wood counter.

Creating Reflective Materials


To make a material reflective:

  1. Right click on a face which use the material, and select IRender: Edit Material
  2. This will load the Material Wizard .
  3. Select the Reflective material type from the defaults on the left.
  4. 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.


See also