When people think of reflection, they usually think only of mirror-like or specular reflections from shiny surfaces. However, completely matte surfaces also reflect light and radiation, but do so diffusely where the light or radiation is distributed over a wide range of directions rather than just a single direction.
This interactive illustration represents a cross-section through the interface between air at the top and an opaque material at the bottom. When a light beam coming from the selected direction strikes the material, some portion of it will be reflected. The amount of the light energy reflected depends upon the Reflectance property of the material’s surface. The amounts of energy reflected in a specular or diffuse direction depends on it’s Specularity surface property.
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