View Full Version : Making Chrome look shinny

07-14-2008, 12:40 PM
Hey guys,

I still new to LW so please treat me like a newb!!! :-) I have a sphere with some text on it. The text layers are seperate and the sphere is also its own. Ive pulled this into layout and have my camera and a couple of lights and thats it. I am trying to make the sphere be a really reflective chrome. I have selected the chrome preset for the layer but when i render out it looks just like a flat grey. What can i do to make it be reflective? Thanks in advance.

07-14-2008, 01:03 PM
The trick is the background.

If chrome is surrounded by white ... it looks white.

There are many options. For example:

Light with an HDRI light source

Go to the 'environment' tab under the material settings and add an image to the reflection

Use the scene itself. Try adding a few lights, or even luminous strip-polys above the object - think how car-photo shoots are done

07-14-2008, 01:07 PM

You must give the sphere something to reflect. There are several ways.
1. You can load an image to reflect in image world, under scene/backdrop options/add enviornment.

2. You can set the surface to render an image in the surface editor under the environment tab. Set the reflection options to Ray Tracing+Spherical Map, then load and image to reflect.

3. You can also put the sphere object into a scene with other objects, and set the render properties to raytrace reflection, and the other objects will be reflected in the sphere.

These are just a few ways to get reflections. I'm sure you will learn a great deal here in these forums. There are a lot of folks here who know LightWave inside and out. Welcome.

07-14-2008, 01:45 PM
tee hee! great minds! :)

CC Rider
07-14-2008, 02:22 PM
All true!
Also, make sure you have RT Reflections checked under the "Render Globals" tab, or all the other reflection tricks won't show up!

07-14-2008, 05:03 PM
Also, make sure you have RT Reflections checked under the "Render Globals" tab, or all the other reflection tricks won't show up!

RT reflections would only be necessary with my #3 suggestion.
You wanna fight about it? :) "John Boy and Billy"

07-14-2008, 05:58 PM
Get a book like Essential Lightwave, it is a great book for anyone using LW.

07-15-2008, 09:59 AM
Thanks so much for the help guys. I'm still not getting the look im going for, it still looks grey. Could someone maybe tell me how you would do it from scratch and maybe i can figure it out that way. And i am looking at getting a book, just haven't figured out which one yet. Thanks a ton.

07-15-2008, 01:02 PM
OK try this.

Download an HDRI image from this site...http://www.debevec.org/probes/

Load your sphere object into Layout.

Open the surface editor and enter these settings for the reflective surface:


Go into backdrop options and choose Image world under Add Enviornment. Load the image.


Hit F9 and you should get what you're looking for. As this is only a very basic starting point, tweak your settings to get exactly what you want.

CC Rider
07-15-2008, 01:49 PM
Have you created a "Surface" in modeler to assign the chrome surface to?
(you said start at the beginning...)

I've seen you mention layers but not surfaces...maybe a common mistake if you are coming from a Photoshop background and are used to working with layers...

07-15-2008, 02:02 PM
Thank you sooooooo much. My boss has been killing me to figure this out and that got me 90% of the way there. So now i know how to do this, and i just have to tweak my image to make it perfect. The next question would be how do i make the sphere have just a plain chrome texture, not a reflection of a background. I will be rendering the final moving object with alpha and dropping it over multiple different motion backdrops in After Effects. So if there was a way to just have it be generic chrome that would be awesome. Thanks so much again!!!!!!!!

CC Rider
07-15-2008, 02:28 PM
Try the preset that ships with Lightwave.
Press F8 on the keyboard to bring up the presets and check out the "metals" section. Make sure you have RT Reflections enabled on Render Globals and you should be good to go...


07-15-2008, 03:23 PM
YES!!!!!! I got it. Thanks so much. You guys are awesome. I finally got my boss off my back!!

07-15-2008, 10:39 PM
Hi LMBvideography

Every time that I need to make a effect like what you are asking for, I always use the <<Silver_RayTrace>> Surface Pre Set Setting.
I have up loaded a sample of how I do it. So you should be able to check it out.


My question to the community is why am I seeing the bounding box from this sub patch object in my renders . I have always made my smooth objects this way and surfaced it the same way before . But I have never got the bounding box wrier frame object to render in my renders before.

How can I shut it off??