Boxshot supports complex materials and allows you to control reflection, refraction, transparency, bump and much more. Creating materials from scratch may be quite sophisticated, so we'd recommed to use the built-in materials library as a starting point. It is much easier to pick a well-matching material from the library and then just adjust it a bit, than to build a new one from scratch.

Physics behind the scene

When light comes onto a surface, it is either reflected, refracted or both. The sum of energies after the hit should be the same as before, so you have to decide how much light to pass through the surface and how much to reflect and absorb. Boxshot first checks the reflection level, so if you set reflection to 100%, refraction will not work at all. All the light that is not reflected is either refracted (transmitted) or absorbed. Absorption uses the diffuse color and materials, refraction uses the parameters of medium. This basically means that if you put a 100% reflexive red ball in the green room it will become green, not red.

It is very helpful to understand the text above if you want to make your own materials. Once again: reflection, then refraction, then absorption. Try to play with the built-in materials and see what happens.

What you see is not what you get

Please note that hardware-accelerated preview may differ from what you get at rendering time, as it is almost impossible to simulate the process in real time on hardware. Preview rendering is just a reference, so please consider using draft rendering at low resolution from time to time to check the real appearance of the scene and materials.

Sharing your results

If you feel that your material needs to be included in the standard library, please feel free to send it to us for review. Please include the images if your material uses them.