Boxshot supports a lots of reflection features by the small number of parameters, so it is relatively easy to get used to them and get good results really fast.

There are several controls in the Reflection section of the Materials panel:

  • Metallic — switches between the Fresnel (plastic) and metallic reflection modes (see below);
  • Saturated by artwork — controls if the diffuse texture affects reflection (see below);
  • Level — defines the level of reflection (if it is metallic);
  • Level mask — a grayscale map that allows you to have different reflection levels in different places of the material;
  • Tint — a color to multiply the reflection result.

There are some other reflection-related options at the Surface section of the panel:

  • Index of refraction — despite the name, this affects non–metallic reflections (see Fresnel reflection below);
  • Roughness — the less the value, the more smooth is the surface. Use 0% for a perfect mirror, 100% for a very rough, diffuse surface;
  • Roughness Mask — same as Level Mask above lets you specify different level of roughness in different places of the material.

Saturated reflection

Reflections are not saturated in Boxshot by default. This means if ray hits a reflective material, it simply reflects. The only thing that affects reflection is reflection tint, so you can color up the reflection. This is perfect for metallic foil effect, or plain metals.

For saturated reflections, ray first passes the diffuse layer and reflects then. This means reflection will be colored by the diffuse texture and look like a reflective metallic paint. This is good for complex labels, especially if reflection masks are used.

saturated reflection

The image above has three balls. The one at the back has simple diffuse texture. The one at the left has non-saturated 100% reflection on top of that texture and the one at the right has the same reflection, but with the saturation option enabled. You see that reflection picks up the color of diffuse texture.

You can read more about this here.

Fresnel and metallic reflections

Fresnel reflection simulates plastic surfaces, which reflect better at glancing angles. See the image below to compare Fresnel and metallic reflections:

fresnel reflection

The left sphere has 30% reflection level, the right sphere reflects automatically, according to the Fresnel’s formula. The reflection level is defined by the angle and by the index of refraction, which is defined in the Surface section below. There is a lot of information about Fresnel reflection in the Internet, there are tables of refraction indices for various materials and other useful things that may help to achieve better results.

Blurred reflection

Blurred reflection may be really useful for rendering brushed metal and similar materials. See the image below:

blurred reflection

The left can has sharp reflection, while the right one has blurred reflection. Use the Roughness parameter to control the level of blur.

Roughness mask helps making UV-spot effect — simply load a grayscale mask having black pixels for glossy areas and white pixels for the blurred ones, so you can get something like this:

uv-spot

Plane at the left has blurred reflection and black mask, while plane at the right has the same reflection and white mask.