Render only the reflection of an object?

I have a statue with a mirrored gold material surrounded by 4 flame bowls. The flames are done with particles so they do not appear in the statues reflection. I have rendered a separate movie of just the flames with a zero alpha background and placed a mesh plane with this flame movie as it’s texture at one of the flame bowls facing the statue. (I want to pick up the reflection of the flames in the statue as the camera pans around it without any of the planes appearing when the camera catches them in the background).

The way I see it is there might be two ways of acheiving this and I can’t manage to perfect either. One way I thought would be to fiddle around with the plane material’s alpha and transparency values and Env / ZTrans buttons etc. Nearly got this but not quite there. Some help with the right combination of settings would be appreciated.

The other way I thought might be to use layers somehow - have an object from a certain non-rendered layer appear in the reflection of an object from a rendered layer . Is this possible?

Hmm, not sure about the method you propose Jon. I’d be inclined to just do a reflection render pass. As in do a render pass where nothing is rendered other than reflections. I’d then do with that whatever I needed to.

I’d look into some tutes on render layers. There’s some good ones here:

Though, perhaps this tute will have everything in it that you need:

Just do a pass for reflections rather than shadows, and you should be set.


Thanks Simon. Will look into it.