Reflective chrome surface without the environment?

I’ve created a simple model containing a chrome nut and bolt in Blender 2.5. I’ve created a basic environment for reflection off the chrome surface. All works well so far, but according to this tutorial for an older version of Blender, I should be able to remove the environment without losing the reflection by using a static environment map.

I don’t know if something is getting lost in my translation to 2.5, but if I remove the other objects in my environment, I lose the reflections too, despite using a static environment map.

How do I create reflections for chrome surfaces (in 2.5) without having any other objects rendered?

I haven’t had any luck with any of the tutorials I’ve come across.


One approach is to use a spheremap image (basically a photo or rendering of some environment as reflected in a highly polished sphere) and map it to Mapping: Reflection and Influence: Diffuse>Color and Specular>Intensity:

Keep Ray Reflection in your Material to pick up any ambient object reflections, but the sphere map can fake an environment for you. You can make your own by rendering a scene as reflected in a highly reflective sphere.

are you talking about HDRI mpa here?

or adding abig 1/2 sphere and mapping it ?

any sample file to demonstrate this effect?

but another way might to add a reflection map on the mat !

happy 2.5

Yep, that’s what I mean, nothing fancy, not even an environment map, just something plugged into Mapping>Reflection. OK for stills, but maybe not for animation, which may require a different approach.

Thank you. Reflective mapping has done the job.

Even simpler, I just create a huge hemisphere, normals pointing inwards, and give it a simple image texture of the ‘environment’ I want. Set the emit value to something high, say 2, so it projects its texture into the scene. Put this hemisphere behind the camera facing your object and the object will reflect the hemisphere’s image. You can also animate objects and their reflections will still look correct, since the ‘environment’ is static. Set the hemisphere’s Display > Type to “bounds” so it doesn’t get in the way during editing.

Add an HDR image texture to the World, set its mapping type to Angmap, and then in the Global Illumination settings change the type from “White” to “Sky Texture.” The reflective surface will then reflect this 360-degree texture realistically; the sky will also give great environment lighting.