Reflection of surroundings?

How do you make an object reflect it’s surroundings? I have a plane with a texture, but I also want it to be reflective, reflecting its surroundings…

Ty so much :expressionless:


The easiest way is raytracing. In the Material Context on the “Mirror Transp” panel turn on “Ray Mirror” and be sure you have selected the render button “Ray”.

Environment maps are usually faster than raytracing but a bit more difficult to set up. Have a look into the docs:

It also has a UV texture, and that isn’t showing up in the render anymore :frowning:

The scene’s really dark, too…(this is pretty much my first render)…so how can I improve that, because when I add a lamp, the scene’s material’s colors get messed up - is there a particular lamp I should use for raytracing?

Have you used an environment map or Ray Mirror? If you used an env map you might have replaced the texture with it.

Env maps don’t actually show true reflections of their surroundings and they’re pretty much useless when we already have Ray Mirror, which does cast a true reflection.

To expand on Usagi’s original explanation, go to your material buttons (red ball), then click on the “Mirror Transp” panel. When you’ve clicked on the Mirror Transp panel you’ll see a button that says “Ray Mirror”, click on this and then increase the slider that says “RayMir 0.00” to about 1 or 2.

If you want the texture to appear, just make sure you haven’t replaced it with your env map (if you had one).

The last step before you render is to go to the render buttons panel and select the “Ray” button.

btw, it doesn’t matter what type of lamp you use.

Let us know if you have any further problems. :wink:

Oh, sorry, it was Ray Mirror that I used.

By the way, Raytraced reflections will also replace the underlying texture color. If you want your decal to show through, you’ll have to change the transparency for the reflections. Also, another thing you can do is make a grayscale version of your decale that you want to represent the area of your model that will not be reflective (or as reflective). You can apply that and you should also be albe to get your desired effect. Works on EnvMaps too I believe.

Environment mapping has not become useless with Raytracing.

Firstly, you don’t always want true reflections. If your surroundings are simple then the raytraced reflections are simple too. Often this looks unrealistic. A good env map image can improve the result a lot.

Secondly, env mapping is much faster. Especially in animations you can often get away with one and the same env map for all frames. It is calculated once for the first frame and then reused in every following frame. The speed advantage over raytracing is enormous in those cases.

Thirdly, if you want to composite a reflective CG object into real footage you need the real surroundings reflect in the CG object. Nothing can do this better than environment mapping.

So, especially for professional use environment mapping is the best choice in most cases.

fully agree. it’s just that setting up env-maps in blender is a pain. i wish all the setup (center, empties, layers rendered…) was automatic. i know in some cases you might need this level of control, but generally i don’t.

Don’t forget halo reflection
edit: if I wanted to refract halos, is there a way to set up an env map as a refraction? I remember a (really old) investigation by Shigedo Maeda, but I can’t seem to find it…

There is something about env mapped refraction in the Blender 2.0 Guide. Look here:

sweet… never saw that before :slight_smile: