Reflection Mapping
 
 
 
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Material Editor Standard material Maps rollout Reflection button

You can select a bitmap file or procedural map to use as a reflection map.

Reflection created by mapping

You can create three kinds of reflection: basic reflection maps, automatic reflection maps, and flat-mirror reflection maps.

The most common use of reflection maps in a realistic scene is to add just a touch of reflection to an otherwise non-reflective surface. By default, reflection map strength is 100 percent, as it is for other maps. For many kinds of surfaces, however, reducing the strength gives the most realistic result. A polished table top, for example, primarily shows a wood grain; the reflections are secondary.

Reflection maps look more realistic if you increase the Glossiness and Specular Level values in the Basic Parameters rollout. They are also affected by the diffuse and ambient color values. The darker the color, the stronger the mirror effect.

Even when the Amount spinner is at 100, the reflection map is tinted by the ambient, diffuse, and specular colors.

In metal materials, the Diffuse color tints the reflection map. Specifically, the color from the reflection map is multiplied by the diffuse color (including a diffuse map, if one exists). The value (in the HSV description) of the diffuse color controls the reflection map intensity. If the diffuse color value is 255, the reflection is at full intensity; if the value is 0, the map is not visible.

In non-metal materials, the Specular color multiplies only reflection maps. The value (in the HSV description) of the specular color affects the reflection intensity. If the specular color value is 255, the reflection is at full intensity; if the value is 0, the map is not visible.

Procedures

To create an automatic reflection:

  1. On the Maps rollout, click the Map button labeled Reflection.
  2. In the Material/Map Browser, choose the Reflect/Refract map type, and then click OK.

    Adjusting the map's Strength slider in the parent material's Maps rollout controls how reflective the material is. At 100 percent, the material is fully reflective.

To assign a bitmap as a reflection map:

  1. In the Maps rollout, click the Map button labeled Reflection. In the Material/Map Browser, double-click Bitmap.
  2. In the Bitmap Parameters rollout, click the Bitmap button.
  3. Use the file dialog to choose the bitmap file.
  4. Reduce the Reflection map's Amount to get the effect you want.

    Refractions are similar to reflections. Bitmaps simulate reflections, while Reflect/Refract maps generate them based on the scene's background and geometry.