Video feedback: highlights are just reflections

Not sure if this is the best place for this post. It’s not artwork, per se—but would still love feedback!

I’m working on making tiny videos to illustrate concepts in art. One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of people don’t really understand what highlights are. I made these very short animations to illustrate that they’re ultimately just reflections layered over matte shading.

I’d love any feedback on how to make these clearer, more effective, or more correct. Thanks!




These are awesome Tim!

Rather than separate into reflective and matte (which I definitely colloquially understand), I tend to break these down as specular, diffuse, and spread (hybrid). All describe different types of light reflections.

Light behavior

Hope that helps!

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Can you explain a bit more about what you mean by “spread”? “Hybrid” makes sense to me as a combination of specular and diffuse reflection. I’m considering switching my vocabulary to that instead of “glossy”, which seems like it could be an unnecessary concept. But for “spread” I’m envisioning rough specular reflection (shown below on the right) rather than glossiness, which exhibits both specular and diffuse at the same time (shown below on the left). Or am I misinterpreting what you mean by “spread”?


Yes! Spread is the large continuum between a Lambertian surface (diffuse) and perfect specular (direct). It can be defined as the reflection of electromagnetic radiation from a surface with irregularities that result in a combination of both direct and diffuse. It is also referred to as a hybrid, or “mixed” reflection.

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