5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 11, 2012 1:33 AM by Mylenium

    Why are my reflections brighter in After Effects CS6?

    John Stanowski Level 1

      DFReflections.jpg

      My first project in After Effects CS6 and the new Ray Tracer Renderer has taken a turn for the worse.

       

      I brought in AI text and converted it to Shape Layers. Extruded it and placed it in front of a "wall" that set to receive Reflections.

       

      You can clearly see in the reflection that the sides of the letters are waay brighter than they should be and really aren't reflecting properly.

       

      Anyone have any clue what I'm doing wrong?

        • 1. Re: Why are my reflections brighter in After Effects CS6?
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Do you actually have any lights in the scene? Doesn't look like it and thus the reflection is only derived from the ambient/ diffuse based on some assumptions for default values, obviously in this case in a not so clever way...

           

          Mylenium

          • 2. Re: Why are my reflections brighter in After Effects CS6?
            John Stanowski Level 1

            I have one ambient light and one point light in front of the text.

            I turned the shadows off so that the reflections could be seen better for this example.

            I'll add more lights and see if it does a better job, just out of curiosity. I still need to use my current set up though.

            I did find out something about ... I forgot what they called it. Adobe's "power saver" something or other. When you turn on reflections things automatically get darker and you need to boost your lights.

            Still, though, if that's the cause then I would think the reflections in the wall would be darkened by the same amount.

            • 3. Re: Why are my reflections brighter in After Effects CS6?
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

              I don't think there is anything such as a "power saver". This has to do with the diffuse vs. ambient vs. specular and the specific shading model used, including the "metal" effect. That's no different in 3D applications you just need to learn how they interact and how to tweak them. In your case you should probably adjust your ambinet light or forego it entirely... Ambient is merely a hacky kind of way to simulate atmospherically scattered light and in nature it's about 13%, the rest is direct lighting affecting diffuse and specular.

               

              Mylenium

              • 4. Re: Why are my reflections brighter in After Effects CS6?
                John Stanowski Level 1

                Okay, I'll ease off the ambient and add more lights. I was just trying to avoid shadows running off in every direction, but I guess I can just turn shadows off for most of them.

                 

                BTW, it was Chris Meyer who said it uses an "energy-conserving ray trace renderer" which supposedly means that increasing reflection will scale down diff, ambient and transparency making it appear darker.

                • 5. Re: Why are my reflections brighter in After Effects CS6?
                  Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                  But that still means you need to balance the shading coefficients, no matter what. And energy conservation doesn't simply scale down one shading coefficient in favor of another. Reflection would/ should affect specular only, anyway, since it's merely another lagcy hack-ish method to express light reflections, whereas diffuse is the materials base color and light absorbtion, which is utterly irrelevant for reflections - a bright object can have the same reflection amount as a dark one, it wil just look differently perceptually.

                   

                  Mylenium