Trapcode Mir

Material Group

The Material Group adjusts the properties for the geometry's material attributes, as well as how the lights in the scene affect it. Mir supports up to eight Point lights, and unlimited Ambient lights. If a Spot light is used, Mir will respond as if it were a Point light.

Surface Preset

Contains a dropdown list of surface adjustments to give your geometry a given appearance. These serve as great jumping off points before digging into more parameters below.

Color Swatch

Sets the color of the geometry or object. Lets you choose from a color selection onscreen, or from a pop-up color picker that appears when the color square is clicked upon. Whatever color is chosen will be reflected in the surface of the geometry.

Nudge Colors

Affects the colors at each vertex of the polygon. Can be used to liven up Flat shaded geometries when you have a very square or origami looking object. At low polygon geometries or objects, the Nudge color can add some interesting texture and a slight gradient to the material when increased.

Note: Set the Specular settings to 0 and turn up the AE light for best results.

Left to right, Nudge Colors at 0 and 100.

Opacity

Sets the opacity of the geometry. We recommend lower settings more for the Density mode, when the Blend mode is set to Add, but it's best to keep at 100 for the Phong and Flat Shader modes unless you are trying to achieve an overall ghosted appearance with your geometry.

Ambient

Defines how much ambient light the geometry will reflect. Ambient light is a background light that is everywhere and radiates in all directions.

NOTE: Ambient needs to work with an Ambient light in the AE composition so remember to create at least one Ambient light in the comp when using this setting.

Diffuse

Diffuse is the non-directional component of shading, meaning that this determines how much the surface gives away light in all directions. The geometry or object reflects in every direction, no matter which direction you are viewing it from. This does not tie into any particular light type, but instead affects all lights in the composition. High values make the light brighter while low values make the light duller. Matte surfaces typically have a large diffuse component.

Diffuse Softness

Sets the softness of the diffuse light. A setting of 100 is the default and creates a soft diffusion. A lower setting (of 20, for example) gives a sharp edge where the diffuse lights abruptly change from completely on to completely off. Lower settings can be used to simulate the sharp diffuse reflection of the moon, or for cartoon-style looks, for example. Higher values than 100 can be set but have no known physical correspondence.

Note that this parameter will not be active if your Shader (under the Shader group below) is set to Density since the Density shader won't be visibly affected by Diffuse Softness. 

Specular

Specular reflection is the mirror-like reflection of light from a surface, in which light from a single incoming direction is reflected into a single outgoing direction. When turned up, the geometry or object's texture appears more glossy like plastic or metal.  Turn the value to 0 and it becomes matte and almost paper-like. High values make the geometry or object look more glossy.

You may need to lower the Diffuse value to allow the glimmer to come through. This Specular parameter is sensitive to the position of the Point lights.

NOTE: Specular controls are only available in Smooth or Flat Shader modes.

Left to right, Specular Amount set to low and high.

Specular Shininess

Defines how narrow or wide the specular reflection is. Low values create a very graphic effect. High values will affect the highlights. For example, glass may be very narrow and plastic slightly more wide.

Specular Shininess also lets you lower the sensitivity of Specular adjustments so it's not as sensitive to the proximity of the light. High Sharpness values make the Amount more sensitive. Low Sharpness values make the Amount less sensitive.

Metal

Controls how the material transforms the color of the reflected light. If set to zero, the colors remain unaffected by the material, such as plastic materials or perfect mirrors. If set to 100 the incoming light will be completely transformed into the color of the material, which is an attribute of metallic surfaces. This setting affects both specular reflections from AE lights and IBL environment reflections.

Reflectivity

Sets the amount that the material reflects more at sharper angles, so the more parallel the light rays are to the surface, the more it reflects. Many materials only (or mostly) reflect light in this way. This setting affects both specular reflections from AE lights and IBL environment reflections.

Reflection Sharpness

Adjusts the sharpness of the reflections created through Reflectivity. Lower values create a blurry appearance, while higher values give it a finer amount of detail.

Reflection Rolloff

Determines where the reflection tapers off the geometry in the event you only want the reflection to appear within a defined range of the geometry.

Reflections & Lighting

This group allows for placing Mir scene in an environment specified by a spherical environment map. There are several built-in environments installed with Mir for convenience, but any spherical environment can be used to light the scene.

Environment Map

This pop-up menu allows you to choose from 9 HDRi maps that ship with Mir, as well as import your own (Custom). These built-in environments work as HDR even if the project is set to 8bpc.

Custom Environment Map

When Environment Map is set to Custom, you can choose a layer to use as a custom reflection map using this pop-up menu. Any image can be selected, but to make a correct environment map it should be a spherical map (also called a “lat/long map” or an “equirectangular map," "360 image," or "HDRi map." Note that a “sphere map” is something else).

Note that using a very large environment map uses a lot of space on the GPU.

Environment Exposure

Changes exposure for the environment (both reflection and diffuse). Increasing this value by one adds one stop of exposure. When making drastic changes to exposure, make sure the source is HDR and the project is in 32bpc mode. The built-in environments are HDR even if the project is set to 8bpc so they can be drastically re-exposed without going to 32 bpc. This setting may not work as expected when working in Linear Light, as increasing this value by one will not exactly equal a stop of exposure, but it will get brighter.

Environment Y Rotation

This rotates the environment (both reflection and diffuse) on the Y axis. This corresponds to panning the camera horizontally. This property can be helpful in compositing, as the brighter parts of the environment map can be rotated into an alternate position.

Diffuse Environment Map

If Built-in Environment is set to Custom, you can choose a layer to use as a custom diffuse map using this pop-up menu. This essentially samples the brightness information from the selected layer to create an ambient lighting effect from that envrionment (also called a “lat/long map” or an “equirectangular map.” Note that a “sphere map” is something else).

Note that using a very large environment map uses a lot of space on the GPU.

Diffuse from Environment

Adjusts the amount of diffusion from the Environment map. Higher Diffuse Strength values add more light to the places on the geometry where brighter values are mapped.