Environment mapping

Environment mapping is a cheap way to create reflections (Blinn and Newell, 1976). While it’s easy to create reflections with a ray tracer, ray tracing is still too expensive for long animations. Adding an environment mapping feature to a z-buffer based renderer will create reflections that are acceptable in a lot of situations. Environment mapping is a two-dimensional texture mapping technique that uses a map shape of a box and a map parameter of a reflection ray.

This scene was modeled by Steve van der Burg.