New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Adding reflections

From: After Effects CS6 New Features

Video: Adding reflections

Now let's turn our attention to reflections. Just to keep straight what it is we are seeing, I want to turn the Transparency back down to 0 so that don't confuse transparency looking through an object with reflections off of the face of an object. There are a couple of different ways objects can pick up reflections inside the ray-traced renderer. One, layers can reflect off of each other and two, you can set up something called an environment map that's sort of a world that wraps round your entire composition, and everything can reflect that. First, I am going to go ahead and rearrange my layers little bit here. I will go 2 Views, get my right one Custom, Top view here.

Adding reflections

Now let's turn our attention to reflections. Just to keep straight what it is we are seeing, I want to turn the Transparency back down to 0 so that don't confuse transparency looking through an object with reflections off of the face of an object. There are a couple of different ways objects can pick up reflections inside the ray-traced renderer. One, layers can reflect off of each other and two, you can set up something called an environment map that's sort of a world that wraps round your entire composition, and everything can reflect that. First, I am going to go ahead and rearrange my layers little bit here. I will go 2 Views, get my right one Custom, Top view here.

C to go to the Unified Camera tool and zoom back a little bit. I am going to do a little rearranging. I am going to pull my Corvette up here, off to the side. Press W for the Rotate tool. So it's at an angle has a chance reflecting back on to our text, press V to return to the selection. And I am going to change our light to a point light, so I no longer have to worry about its cone angle cutting off what layers it's hitting. There.

And let's go back down to one view again, Custom view. As I take my ray-trace text and start increasing the reflection, a few things happen. One, we do start to pick up some reflections from that Corvette layer in the bevels. You can see these bits of orange and the bits of chrome from the bumper showing up in these bevels here. But second, you'll notice that this text became darker; it's not illuminated quite as brightly. And this is one of the things that might throw you in After Effects: it uses what is called an energy-conserving ray-traced renderer.

That means as you increase reflections, it automatically decreases the normal lighting for a layer. The idea is that it tries to keep overall the same average brightness between reflections and direct light. The result is, quite often though, things seem to get darker. So again, you might find yourself going up to your lights and increasing the Intensity just go get some illumination back into the scene. Let's see if we can move that Corvette layer into a more advantageous position where we get a bit more reflection off of our text layer. There we go.

I will press V and start sliding it across here. So we can see it actually reflected off front of our type and lower it a little bit. Now you have to be careful that you don't get your reflected layers in between the camera and your object. I happen to have a custom view off here to the side. If I go over to active camera view, I can see where I might need to play around with replacing my layers some more to get that reflection that I desire. But I'll switch back to Custom view for now. Now you have some additional parameters to control these reflections.

I will back down to 1 View for now, so you can see this large. For one, you can choose whether or not a layer appears in reflections. I will type AA to reveal its material options, and you will see that option defaults to On. If I click twice, it's off, so it does not appear in reflections, or I can make it only appear in reflections. That means I don't need to worry about those layers getting in between the camera in the layer I am trying to see. They exist solely to be reflected. Now for the layer that's receiving the reflections, not only do you have the Reflection Strength, from no reflections at all, to a little bit, to fully reflective--I will go somewhere between here-- you have Reflection Sharpness. You can turn it down to create blurry reflections. You can see it blurs out very quickly; just a little bit goes a long way. I will go to 90, and that's just a subtle softening of the layer.

I will turn this back up to 100 for now and see what's going on. You also have Reflection Rolloff. The more severe, I make it less perfect that layer is being reflected. And again, you can see the overall brightness of this layer changing as part of the so called energy-conserving model that Adobe has chosen to use for this. Now I will knock this back down so that you can see the full reflection.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects CS6 New Features
After Effects CS6 New Features

31 video lessons · 11773 viewers

Chris Meyer
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.