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Reflective Materials Overview

In this tutorial we will discuss the rendering of reflective surface interfaces with V-Ray.

Metallic Materials

To create a metallic material, we need to add a reflection layer. Then we have to increase the reflection amount using the reflection IOR value. The reflection IOR value is located in the Fresnel effect inside the reflection layer mapping.


Formula for a Basic Chrome Material:

  • Add a reflection layer
  • click on the “M” near the Reflection color. You will see the fresnel effect enable by default.
  • Increase the IOR value 20.

A metallic reflection has an IOR value between 6 to 26.

A plastic reflection has an IOR value between 1 to 5


By default the color of the reflection is white, But you can tint the reflection using the reflection “Filter”. This option allows you to change the color of the reflection producing different metals color.


In the reflection layer you will find two glossiness option. The Hilight glossiness and the reflection glossiness. The Hilight is create by reflecting a very bright light source in the material. The Hilight Glossiness control the shape of the Hilight. The Hilight value has to be the same of the Reflection Glossiness in order to be physically correct. Some types of material do not reflect the light clearly due they have uneven surfaces. In that case we use the Reflection Glossiness to control the sharpness of the reflection. You could find this effect in some matte finish metal, wood, plastics, etc.


All of these materials were rendered with the same Hilight and Reflection glossiness (0.8). Notice that the reflection is not 100% sharp. With the glossiness we can add some blurriness to the materials and in this way we could make anodize metals and blurry metal. The same option should be use to make blurry plastics and some wood materials.


You can increase the glossiness subdivision to improve the quality of the glossiness and remove the noise. This option will increase the rendering time on this material. A good value for the subdivision could be something between 22 - 40. We usually recommend 32 for the subdivision.