Saturated Reflection

By default Boxshot processes reflection as it is a foil placed on top of the diffuse material. Every ray that hits it gets reflected. This works just fine for foil simulation and metallic surfaces, but sometimes you might need it a different way, so here comes the saturated reflection effect.

Test Scene

Drag a sphere into the new project to get something like this:

A scene with a white sphere

Then apply a colorful diffuse texture, so you can easily spot the difference later:

Applying the diffuse texture to the sphere

Finally, drag the Reflection level slider to 50%, so the ball starts reflecting:

Making the sphere half-reflective

Great, now you can see that while you move the reflection slider, the metallic reflection replaces the diffuse texture. You’re slowly getting a metallic ball without any texture. If you apply a reflection mask now, you get foil effect, but what if we want the reflection to take diffuse texture into account?

Enabling Saturation

Check the Saturated by artwork box and see the difference:

Enabling saturated by artwork option

You see that the ball still reflects, but it now reflects with the colors of the diffuse texture. Let’s set reflection level to 100%:

Changing reflection level to the maximum

We’ve got a reflective metallic textured ball, great. Now switch the saturated reflection off to see the difference:

Disabling saturated reflection

Now it is a simple metallic sphere, all the rays are reflected and the artwork is not visible.

How it Works?

Basically, non–saturated reflection acts like a foil placed above the artwork. Here is a sketch:

Non-saturated reflection explained

You see that reflective layer placed above the texture reflects rays before they catch the color. All the rays at the left gets reflected intact, while the right rays get diffuse color, but don’t get reflected and you see that part matte.

Here’s what happens when you enable saturated reflection:

Saturated reflection explained

This time reflective layer is below the diffuse one, so rays have to pass through the diffuse part and then back. That’s where they get colored and that’s why you see the reflection saturated by the artwork.


So the option is quite simple: if you need a clear foil or metallic effect, just leave everything as is. If you want rich colorful reflections, enable the saturated option. For more flexible control of the reflection, consider using reflection masks.

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