TOOL: Material – Reflection Layer (VRay)

Material: Reflection Layer

This section is about how to add and edit the refection layer. Please click on the red cup in the scene. Click on Edit button under Material selections in properties.

Adding Reflection Layer

1. Click on the “+” next to Cup_red under Scene Materials to pull out all the layers. Right click on Reflection Layer. Select “Add new layer” to add a new reflection layer for this material. There will show Reflection under the material control section, as it shows on the second image below.

Adding a Reflection Layer

Adding a Reflection Layer - Step 1

2. To remove a new added layer, right click on the layer you wish to remove then select remove.

Adding a Reflection Layer - Step 2

3. By Default the reflection layer has a fresnel map which varies the amount of reflection based on the viewing angle. If that map is removed then the reflection is constant over the whole material. Since the reflection color is set to white this leads to complete reflection on the whole material. This is a good setting for chrome or a mirror, but not most materials.

Reflection Layer example

4. Now we will go through the specifics of the fresnel map. Click on Reflection on the right section, and then click on the m box to set reflection.

Fresnel map properties

5. If it is not already enabled scroll down the box next to Type, and then select Fresnel. Fresnel IOR is to control the reflection intensity. Keep the default value of 1.55, then click Apply.

Fresnel IOR

Fresnel IOR

6. Click on the Material Preview again. The Material now has reflection quality with the same color on it.

Reflection Layer Properties

Reflection Layer example

7. Notice the “m” on the right side of the Reflection is now changed to “M”. That means the Map has some other characteristics associated with it now. Please use the same method and apply Fresnel to other colors and render it. The white spot on the cup is the Rectangular light from above.

Reflection Layer example

8. Below image rendered with Fresnel IOR set to 2.5, it has more reflection and looks more like a metal texture now. The cup has some black reflection due to the default setting of the background color is black. Under V-Ray Option, change the color under Environment>Background to white and see what will you get.

Reflection Layer example

Fresnel Reflections

Fresnel Reflections are a naturally occurring phenomenon that states that an object becomes more reflective the greater the angle at which it is seen. An example of this principle would be a window that is seen from straight ahead as opposed to at an angle. Through manipulating the Index of Refraction (IOR) the reflective characteristics of an object can be changed. A lower IOR means that a larger angle is needed between the observer and the surface before the object begins to reflect. A higher IOR means that a smaller angle is needed, which in turn causes the object to reflect sooner. To have your renderings be more physically correct it is recommended to have the IOR of an object correspond to its actual IOR.

Below are six rendered samples each with a different Fresnel IOR. The last one is a rendered with full reflection to create a chrome material.

Fresnel Reflection examples

Source: VRay