Glossary - Specular

By definition, specularity refers to the visual appearance of specular reflections. In computer graphics work, however, specular is the number of surface reflections reused in three-dimensional (3D) rendering. To determine the size of highlights, it looks at the brightness of specular highlights, and the shininess. Most of the time, specular is used in ray tracing and computer graphics. In most instances, the mirror-like specular reflections of light from different surfaces are disregarded because more intensive computing is required. In the end, a specular reflection of the light precisely from the source of point light is modeled as specular highlights. Material systems also change specularities. They vary across the surfaces by adding more layers of texture maps.

Misinterpretations of Specularity in Computer Graphics

Specularity was a parameter of early shaders. Computer Graphics artists were at first confused by this term. Later through experimentation, they found out that changing the settings would cause the reflected highlights from light sources to come into view and disappear. Whereas specularity in optics is defined as “Optics,” reflected light from a very smooth and polished surface. Since specular surfaces are very smooth, the highlight is reflected well and is easy to see. Diffuse reflections, on the other hand, happens when the mirrored surface becomes rougher, and the highlights become broader and dimmer.