Shininess Attribute Reference Page


This tutorial demonstrates the effects of the shininess settings in Imagine 3D for Windows.   Shininess is a more subtle effect than the reflectivity setting for an object. Filter, Shininess, and Index of Refraction (Rf) settings all work together to produce a reflection that has depth characteristics that simple reflections don’t have.


The shininess effect can be thought of as placing a one pixel thick coating of glass or wax on your object.   All the color and texture settings of your object will be mixed with the reflections of this layer of glossy, shiny material.

Attributes Dialog Box Select your object by clicking on it’s axis, and then press the F7 key to bring up the Attributes dialog box.   The controls for setting Shininess are on the Special tab of the Attributes dialog box as shown above.

Shininess “steals” the Filter setting.  Because of this shininess only works on opaque objects.   Use the Reflectivity setting in combination with the Filter setting to make transparent objects reflective.

The Shininess slider controls the intensity of the reflections.

The Filter setting controls the level of transparency and it’s color characteristics.   Think of this as passing the reflections through a filter before reflecting them back at the camera.   Note that this filter setting does NOT filter the colors of your object below the shiny coating.   So you could do strange effects like having a red object with green tinted reflections by setting the Basic color to red and the Filter color to green.

The Index of Refraction (Rf) controls the apparent depth and clarity of the reflections.   You need a fairly high setting of Rf before the effect will become noticeable (greater than 1.3).   However, the power of the shininess effect is in it’s subtlety, so keeping the Rf setting low is actually an advantage.   Setting it too high makes the effect look no different than the reflectivity control.   Below is a chart showing the effects of these settings.


Reference Image

On this chart, shininess was increased from 10 on the left to 255 on right in the matrix of spheres.   In the top three rows of spheres, Filter is set to a medium gray.   In the second three rows of spheres, the Filter setting is set to white.   In the seventh row, the Filter setting is set to the same color as the Basic color of the spheres, which is a medium brown.

In the bottom row, the Filter setting is green, and the Basic color is red.  This color combination helps illustrate where the shininess effect is strongest (green tinted areas) even with low shininess settings.

Hint: Setting an object to low levels of Filter, Shininess, and Rf, can give a subtle, almost radiosity type effect by creating soft, blurry reflections of the environment around the object.   Look at the third sphere in the seventh row as an example.  Notice the hint of red reflected from the sphere below it.