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Realtime Reflections


This videotutorial was published about a year ago, but as I came across it I thought it was worth sharing.

Max Hammond writes:

In this tutorial I'm using a female deer "doe" as the object thats is going to become reflective. This technique can be used on any object although smooth objects without large flat planer faces work best, such as cars and organic curved shapes.

In a note about the use of the technique, the reflections generated only reflect the contains of the lightprobe map. If there is an object in the scene that you would like to be in the reflection you should either add it to the map or use the map as a backgroud for a traditional raytraced reflection.


About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. I just loaded up Blender Nation and I was like, That looks familiar!
    Awsome to see my work posted here, Its good to know that my stuff is actualy being used. Although reading my qoute I wish I had spell checked it first :P.

    I used the same technique to reduce the render times of this shot, <60 seconds a frame:

  2. Colin Griffith on

    You can also use environment mapping, which in Blender also allows for
    reflecting other objects using (what seems to be, at a glance) a similar

  3. is there a tut on these environnment map to compare it ?

    also   i got vista 32 bits with a small GPU and got some faces missing in viewport
    but render seem ok is this problem with vista or bug in softl

    now what would be the advantages of using this
    i mean it's nice to see lot's of reflections but
    there are no colors or textures on the model only on ereflection map!

    so how can this be usefull ?


  4. For Animation and depending on Camera's angle, choosing Mapping>>Coordinates>>>Normal ( instead of Reflections ) gives also interesting surfaces depending on model. Specially if you create your own images !  ( Set an Sphere, assign a color, a texture you like, render it RGBA without the sky. Save it as PGN. Then use this shot as your own image for texture. This gives endless alternatives for your materials without using Mirror Raytracing or Enviroment maps, speeding up render times. This is basically how Zbrush creates matcap materials. There is even a FREE program out there to create your own matcap materials, here is the link from Zbrush Central Forums:

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