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Reflective - Render Property

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The Reflective render property is used specifically for creating objects that have shiny or reflective surfaces. This render property works with Screen Space Reflections to create an Appearance that will reflect other models in a 3D scene.

Using the Reflective render property and SSR can improve the look and feel of your 3D models by imitating natural surface reflections.

Room showing screen space reflections

Render Properties

The following properties are available on the Reflective render property:

  • Diffuse Color (R, G, B, Alpha)
  • Ambient Intensity
  • Diffuse Intensity
  • Specular Color (R, G, B)
  • Specular Intensity
  • Reflectivity
  • Reflective Scatter
  • Texture Transforms
    • X Scale
    • Y Scale
    • Angle
  • Texture Offset
    • X Offset
    • Y Offset
  • Diffuse Texture
    • Texture
    • Source File Path
  • Specular Texture
    • Texture
    • Source File Path
  • Normal Texture
    • Texture
    • Source File Path

Setting up an Appearance to use the Reflective render property

In each Appearance there is a property in the Information Panel called Render Properties.

  1. In a DriveWorks 3D Document, navigate to and select an Appearance.
  2. In the Information Panel there will be a drop down of Render Properties.
  3. Select Reflective from the drop down list.
  4. On the Default Camera or any Camera Entity make sure you have Screen Space Reflections enabled.

Using the Reflective render property

This feature has been designed to provide subtle but realistic reflections on the surface of a model. The effect is created by reflecting the models surfaces with whatever is visible in the 3D scene surrounding it. Typically, by using reflective surfaces such as various woods metals and plastics you can create models that look more realistic.

Subtle Reflections

Using the Reflective render property provides subtle and additional surface detail giving a model further depth and realism overall.

To achieve the most realistic effect on any surface we recommend selecting values that are barely noticeable and on the lower end of the spectrum. Limitations of this feature are apparent when you set the effect to maximum as the reflections will look overly noticeable and unnatural.

Basic example of models on a reflective floor

In the example shown above, some basic shapes have been set on a reflective floor. The highest setting has been applied to the floors reflectivity and this results in the reflections being noticeably sharper.This demonstrates two imperfections that are possible with SSR. As a 3D designer it is possible to work around these limitations and improve the quality of your scene.

Basic example of models on a reflective floor

In the next example we have added a normal map, a specular map and a texture to the floor to add further depth and realism. Additionally, we have reduced the reflectivity and specular intensity resulting in the surface reflections looking more subtle. Reflective Scatter has also been applied to the floor and provides a more natural overall look.

Limitations

This rendering effect does have known limitations and these will be described in further detail below.

Limitations:

  • Elongated and stretched reflections are caused by the render engine approximating reflections that pass underneath objects in a scene. To reduce the effect of this limitation, lower the reflections clarity or SSR thickness.
  • Only models visible to the camera and within the screen space can generate reflections. Consequently, any models or objects that aren’t within these ranges will be shown without a reflection or will be cut off.
  • Reflection visibility is also impacted by whether an object is being occluded by another. An obstructed object will not display a reflection as it's technically considered to be off screen.
  • It’s recommended that you avoid purposefully creating highly reflective (mirrored) surfaces as the limitations of SSR become more apparent.

The limitations discussed, although deliberate, have been adjusted to ensure that performance is optimal when being displayed in a web browser.

Reflective Examples

SSR and Reflective render are excellent additional features that help to create immersive and more realistic 3D environments and objects. Here are some examples of what these features are capable of.

Room showing screen space reflections
Kitchen showing screen space reflections