House of Mirrors

Creating the sense of an huge expansive space is a challenge in 3D animation. But if we use mirrors and some trickery then we can create a vast beautiful illusion. The trick is to use structural beams to hide the mirrors edges. This creates a seemingly unending structural lattice. An infinite jungle gym!

maya scenes (using mental ray) – cube, sphere, dodecahedra (flat & curved)



Tips & Tricks
— If you want to fly through the lattice gridwork like in the video above, line up several of the mirror boxes and delete faces to form a tunnel.
— Lets say that you want to look at the dodecahedra and see its infinite space from the outside looking in. Well you can easily do this by making a one-sided surface. (polyShape/Render Stats/Double Sided (and use Opposite to flip it))
You can limit the amount of recursive reflections by changing the allowed raytracing reflections. (Render Settings/Quality/Raytracing/Reflections)
A fluid is being used to make the space appear foggy with each successive reflection. To see deeper into the recursion, adjust the opacity ramp. (fog_fluidShape/Shading/Opacity)
If you want to add your own fluid, just make sure to check ‘Visible in Reflections’. (fluidShape/Render Stats/Visible in Reflections)

This technique was originally engineered by Duncan Brinsmead, a principal scientist at Autodesk’s R&D. I’ve simply added on top of his amazing work. If you’re curious to learn more in-depth about this technique then check out this screencast.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s