Reflective Textures

How to use reflections and reflection mapping to add view-dependent effects to materials

Most NPR materials use diffuse, non-reflective shaders for the basis of effects like cel shading. However, using either reflection texture coordinates or plugging a reflective shader (eg glossy/glass shader) into the Shader->RGB node, you can get textures that shift around in a metallic or glasslike way. This NPR technique was popularized by the anime Land of the Lustrous, and some examples of their advanced NPR crystals can be seen here.

The rest of this page will demonstrate how to create the above material in Blender Eevee. However, both reflection mapping and shader->RGB conversion can be done in a number of other render engines so this technique is by no means exclusive.

Reflection Mapped Textures

Reflective Shader->RGB

The Final Material

Adding these two effects together and then giving them some color, here is what we get:

A final note about reflections is that they look quite different when the base mesh is changed, so try swapping out meshes and see what happens!

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