Question about Environmental Reflections

I feel like any post to Nomad should probably begin with, “Thank you so much for the absolutely wonderful, groundbreaking tool.” With that important preface, I’m wondering if anyone can help me with this question: Why is it that a metallic sphere will reflect the details of the environment image, but all other metallic primitives and objects do not? You can actually see the environment image on the sphere. On the other objects, you will only see color reflections. Why is this, and is there any way to change this? Thanks again!!!

Nicely said and true :ok_hand:

I can’t explain the math behind very well, nor I know it, but as soon, as you bend the surface a tiny bit, you’ll have almost same behaviour than a sphere.
Use a big inflate brush on a box and it’s full reflective. Bend a plane just a tiny bit and it’s reflective.

The environment is like a sphere around your object.

My simple explanation is, that as long a complete surface is flat, it only reflects the narrow part of environment which is opposite of flat surface.
Like one ball perfectly thrown to a wall, reflect and hitting you in your face.

If your surface is bended a tiny bit, or is a sphere, a big range of the environment sphere is reflected. You will see the top and bottom of the environment sphere…
Hope that explains it a tiny bit.
Just play around and you’ll find out.


It’s impacted by the camera FOV.
Switch to perspective and max out the FOV, it should be better.
Of course very high FOV is a no go when it comes to sculpting or modeling.

With orthographic view, planar surface will reflect a single point on the HDR image.
Actually when it comes to the background (environment), I « cheat » a little bit: normally it should also be a flat color… which can look weird when you rotate the camera.
That’s usually what happens in other softwares when you use low fov or orthographic camera.


Fascinating! Thank you for taking time to explain. I will explore this today.

Thank you! I am so surprised to hear this. I suppose I assumed that it was just too memory intensive, and so had been limited to a sphere. What do I know? Anyway, thank you for taking the time to help me understand.