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Anisotropic reflections appear on surfaces that are made up of tiny grooves or microfacets. When you create a shader for material like this, the most noticeable attribute is that the specular highlight or the highlight of the light source is going to become spread out and have kind of directionality to it. So you can sort of see how this is the specular highlight, but you notice how it's sort of stretched out over the surface. So this is sort of creating kind of a brushed metal like effect and you can see that there are microfacets in the surface itself that are affecting the reflectivity of the surface.
Some surfaces that would exhibit anisotropic reflections include things like a CD or a DVD with tiny grooves on it or satin pillow or the shininess of very silky hair. There are anisotropic shaders within Maya and then some mental ray shaders also have anisotropic options which can be activated to simulate these types of surfaces. So as you're creating a surface, whether it's brushed metal or something like that, think about how the tiny grooves on the surface itself will affect the way the environment is reflected and also the way that the specular highlights are reflected on the surface.
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