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Mirror Ball

Guest Demfis Fyssicopulos

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Hi df

For a realistic construction process this could be a way:


Instead of the Cube use a small plate like a piece of Mirror.

So Peter is right it's some work.

The Catch in your question is this: "..render realistically.."

For that Part you need "Caustics" which is built into the C4D Render Engine.

But we would need some light sources that have the possibilty to emit Photons which we don't have (yet).

Without that you won't get this nice little light spots on the Wall, Ceiling and Floor.

Which are most important to make Mirrorball ...

The effect could be faked with a Lightsource inside a ball with holes, but I don't have a concept for the Moment how to get that fake Dot-Projector out of the rendering.

May be somone else has an idea.

Horst M.

Edited by Horst M.
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

You can fake this quite nicely by using the new Renderworks noise shaders...

Create a sphere.

Create a new Renderworks texture and use Noise as the basis for the colour shader, as well as the Bump. This will break your sphere into small, flat square surfaces instead of you having to model the individual mirror faces. For the Reflectivity shader, set it to Mirror.

Apply the texture to the sphere.

The problem then is getting the mirror to reflect light sources, as Renderworks doesn't do this (see Horst's response above). However, you can get round this by using small 3D polygons with a Glow Shader texture applied to it. But you will not see light rays leaving the mirror ball.

Hope that helps!

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Guest Demfis Fyssicopulos

Dear all,

Thank you very much for the replies. Yes, the idea is to create a render that has four mirror balls in it looking like the real thing (aka, emitting light). The sphere with perforated holes idea seems like the best solution for this, but that now brings my new question then. How can I duplicate array a hole-punching pin spherically?.


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

If you are placing lights inside the sphere, you could set them to not cast shadows, and then you would not need to cut holes - the light would just pass straight through. But the downside of this is of course that the light would not cast any shadows elsewhere.

And even if there are lights inside the sphere, you will only see the beam, (with lit fog set), but not the light source itself, (unless you make my fake glow shader lights).

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I couldn't resist..

as we are faking it anyway, I used a Tile shader with sqaures in the Bump and the Reflections Channel and with little circles in the transparency Channel.

Stuffed one Light inside.

Lit Fog enabled...

Custom Renderworks

Just a rough sketch the Rendering is not otimized

I sent it to C4d to compare the rendering Qualitiy (which should be the same)

It works wonderfull, but the rendering result ist differrent.

No Idea why, I tried Custom and Final Quality renderworks, and both give me those "freaky Lines", as if there is something wrong in the transparency channel. The rendering in C4d is much smoother, without the Lines.

Any suggestions how to get the rendering cleaner are welcome.

Edited by Horst M.
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Guest Demfis Fyssicopulos

Dear Horst,

Thank you very much for the reply. Your fist render looks great, that said I can't duplicate it. Would you mind sharing the VW file?. Thank you VERY much once again. Be well.


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Guest Demfis Fyssicopulos

Dear Horst,

Thank you VERY much. That said, Im running 2010. Looks like the file is 2011. ANy change it could be saved as 2010 file?. Thank you very much again.


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Oh man that's sad!

It's all based on the capabilities of the shaders from the C4D Render engine.

I've tried to export and open the File in RW2010. The MIrrorball texture is exported completely unusefull, as RW2010 doesn't have any similar Funktions.

The rendering shows Shadows in the darkness :-((

THe only solution I see for 2010 ist to create Image Masks and Images for the refelctions, the Bump, and the Tranparency Channel with Photoshop or Illustrator or Inkscape... not my world.

I'm Sorry :-(

Even if you get the texture done I hardly see a chance with RW 2010 to get a result besides headache

Edited by Horst M.
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  • 7 months later...

It is so cool, yet I find myself needing desperately the "real" thing: When I aim a source at a reflective surface, I need the light to bounce off that surface and onto the next surface. It seems terribly counterintuitive that the render package would be strangled in this way.

And what I'm gathering from this thread is that there's currently no way to do that outside of an export to C4D? Which means, I'd need to pony up the 1800$ US etc? Big bummer. And WAY outside both my and the dot-orgs I work for to afford.

I'm open to suggestions on how to solve this problem. Elegance counts, but not as much as a realistic answer.

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