Surface Shading

  • Thomas Driemeyer
Part of the mental ray® Handbooks book series (MENTALRAY, volume 1)


This chapter discusses surface properties of geometric objects. When the camera sees a geometric object in the scene, the mental ray rendering software needs to determine the color of every point on the object. In addition to the object color this may include:
  • illumination: objects lit by light sources appear brighter, and unlit objects and objects in shadow appear darker. See page 46.

  • texture mapping: instead of a constant object color, images can be wrapped around objects, like wallpaper or decals. Textures can be image files or procedural textures. See page 51.

  • environment mapping: this is a reflection simulation. Reflections of other objects are not visible, only reflections from an “environment” that wraps the entire scene like wallpaper on the inside of an infinite sphere around the scene. See page 99.

  • reflection: reflections allow general mirror effects. Reflections of other objects in the scene are seen on the surface. See page 102.

  • transparency and refraction: this allows see-through objects. See page 107.

  • bump mapping alters the surface normal to make the object surface appear as if it had more geometric detail than it actually does. See page 79.


Texture Image Displacement Mapping Local Texture Color Texture Bump Mapping 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Driemeyer
    • 1
  1. 1.mental imagesGesellschaft für Computerfilm und Maschinenintelligenz mbH & Co. KGBerlinGermany

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