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Your Best Mirror... How Would You Do It?

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  • I'm modeling a mirror standing on the far side of a vanity table.

    As a texture, I've simply got 100% Reflection. Is this the best way to do a mirror? Are there "tricks" to add to make the mirror more realistic looking?

    Thanks, ras

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    You'll want to add dust, streaks from cleaning, that sort of thing.

    Go look closely at any mirror and you will start to notice those sort of imperfections.

    Also, if the mirror is large, chances are it won't be 100% flat and may bow ever so slightly.


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    Is your mirror a single flat plane? Real mirrors have thickness and the silvering is on the back face only. Thickness with a glass material and silvering on the back only will give a double reflection, faint from the glass, dominant from the silvering.

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    A mirror is never 100% reflective.

    The illusion of 100% reflectivity comes from the combination of near perfect reflection added with the natural specularity of the silver particles (if we're talking about a basic modern mirror).

    Basically what this means is that with a mirror that's not laser coated or hard treated the image you see in the glass might actually seem brighter than reality (light says bouncing from the material itself).

    Not something that would be distinguishable to the naked eye, but take an f/ stop meter or better yet, a chroma/luma meter and see for yourself.

    One good thing about going to studio photography 202 back at school :D

    Of course, select your reflectivity settings according to the type of mirror you want to create, whether it's 1800 century, ancient greek or modern.

    I would also suggest using zBlur 2 or the physical rendering engine to render your depth pass, just to be safe with realistic depth of field.

    Also, a heavily curved mirror might affect your bokeh shape.

    *Adjusts nerdy glasses*

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