Helen Reinold

Helen Reinold

Last updated: April 29, 2022  •  5 min read

Enhanced Lighting and Reflections for Unprecedented Realism

With Enscape 2.6, we are able to offer greater reflection fidelity and more accurate indirect lighting, to provide an even more realistic and immersive experience. We have been able to achieve this by overhauling and enhancing our calculation algorithm, resulting in improved indirect lighting and ray-traced reflections.

How do we achieve these results?

Enscape has been using ray tracing techniques for years; we realized early on the importance of using lighting and reflection calculations to deliver the most authentic images possible. Ray tracing techniques emulate the real world effect of light interacting with the objects in our view. In Enscape, an algorithm simulates light rays, tracing them from the imaginary eye, or camera, to the light source. As this is fundamentally similar to how light behaves in real life, it can achieve amazingly realistic results.


Off-screen reflections displayed correctly

Which optimizations can you expect in 2.6?

How exactly will you benefit from these optimization? It’s the fine details that will make all the difference. You will now see reflection fidelity, even when the geometry is off-screen, as in the image above. The woman, chair, plant, and painting are all behind the camera, but shown in the reflection in exact detail.

Texture maps and cutout materials are also now accurately displayed. Where previously perhaps only geometry would have been visible, now textures you apply will appear in mirrors and other reflective surfaces. In the image above, the cutout texture of the plant is now displayed accurately. Any shadows cast by objects are also visible.

Even in mirrors, lights and textures are accurately displayed; project credit: Finn

Even in mirrors, lights and textures are accurately displayed; project credit: Finn

Another benefit for you is that light sources are now accurately displayed in reflections. Domestic indoor scenes often have both artificial light sources and mirrors or reflective surfaces placed around the room. As shown in the image above, light sources show in the reflection, adding to the realism of the scene. In real life, we would expect to see these details; now we can have them in Enscape as well.

Accurate indirect lighting in an interior scene; project credit: Pablo Correa

Accurate indirect lighting in an interior scene; project credit: Pablo Correa

Beyond reflections, indirect lighting in general has also been optimized. The improved indirect lighting lends a more natural, true to life atmosphere, especially to interior scenes. With 2.6, interior scenes with artificial lights benefit greatly with less indirect light leaking and more pronounced indirect shadows. Like reflections, lights and shadows are details that tend to draw the eye when they are off.

Update: A new version of Enscape is now available. Learn more here.

How do I make the most out of these improvements?

Now that we’ve covered what has changed, you might be wondering how it will benefit you directly. With Enscape 2.6, you will be able to create your projects knowing that when you click the Start Enscape button, your reflections and indirect lighting will be displayed correctly.

Beautifully accurate reflection; project credit: tas_1985

Beautifully accurate reflection; project credit: tas_1985

Accurate lighting and reflections can make all the difference in an image. Of course, the most obvious reason why reflections in rendered images are important is the element of photorealism. Many materials like water or highly reflective surfaces like marble or glass act like mirrors in real life. We expect to see accurate reflections in them, so if these are missing from a rendering containing these materials, something feels off; with Enscape 2.6, your reflections will be eye-catching because of their stunning accuracy.

Stunning reflections on a water surface; project credit: tas_1985

Stunning reflections on a water surface; project credit: tas_1985

More and more architects use reflections not only to achieve photorealism, but to give their spaces a greater sense of depth. Reflections are also important because of the atmosphere they can create. There is only so much you can show on a still rendering, and even if the space is beautifully arranged, you might not be able to capture every detail in one image.

Reflections allow you to add a sense of depth to any image, like when a reflective floor indicates high ceilings that would otherwise not be visible. If you are only able to show the corner of a room in your rendering, a mirror helps create a sense of depth, where the image could feel flat.


Have you already created a beautiful rendering using Enscape? Post it in the Showcase section of our Forum! Our vibrant community is there to give you encouragement, tips and tricks.

If you never tested Enscape before: Give Enscape a try for free:

Try Enscape For Free

If you are already familiar with Enscape: Update Your Enscape today!

Visualize as you design with Enscape
Try For Free
Building rendered with Enscape 3.2
Helen Reinold
Helen Reinold

Helen Reinold is part of the Customer Service team at Enscape. Since joining the company in 2018, she has also regularly contributed articles to the blog. She strives to not only solve users’ problems, but also elevate their experiences and results.