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Virtual Dictionary

Specular Pass

A specular pass, usually known as a highlight pass, is one possible layer of a multi-layered render pass. It is a specialised pass, intended to heighten an earlier pass, and so is never the first pass of the sequence.

It isolates the specular highlights of the objects in the scene, which is where the name originates. This is done by removing all ambient lights, and replacing all textures or colkours with pure black. This means the only points of interest in the scene will be the highlights.

This is also why it is much more efficient to do the highlight, or specular pass as a separarte render layer – you would need to disable all the calculations carried out by the first render, so it is more efficient to re-render without any of those calculations in the first place, for this layer.

Specular highlights add a great deal of realism to a scene, at the cost of a full secondary render, so at this current time, they are not used for rendering real-time scenes, as their usage would cut the frames per second in half.

As with all multi-render passes however, their use becomes more appealing as the base frame rate increases past the eye's visual ability to follow.

See Also: Frame Rate, Render Pass, Beauty Pass, Reflection Pass, Shadow Pass, Depth Pass, Lighting Pass, Depth Pass, LOD

Below, we offer a selection of links from our resource databases which may match this term.

Related Dictionary Entries for Specular Pass:

Highlight Pass

Lighting Pass

Reflection Pass

Shadow Pass

Specular Pass


Resources in our database matching the Term Specular Pass:

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Linked resource
Six ways to build robots that do humans no harm
NewScientist reports on six hypothetical ways to make robotic beings that will not harm humans. Not that any of them are likely to come to pass.

Linked resource
AI researchers believe 'Rascals' can pass Turing test
Passing the Turing test -the holy grail of artificial intelligence, whereby a human conversing with a computer can't tell it's not human- may now be possible via VR with a Blue Gene supercomputer, according to AI experts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Linked resource
What's in a name? ...a demotion for the darling concept of the real
Virtual always suggests unreal, or imaginary. A virtual entity can pass for, a real thing but is less than the real thing itself. Sounds like a nice statement. Are we really so sure its true?

Locally Hosted resource
Cranial Nerves
There are twelve cranial nerve pairings (making 24 nerves in total) which split out from the brain, and move to cover the needs of the cranium and face, rather than make their way down through the central spinal cord. These nerves are important to consider, as most are of critical importance to sensory data, yet do not pass through the central cord, and so cannot be intercepted at the same juncture.

Locally Hosted resource
A Sterile World
Smell is a sense often overlooked in a virtual world. Developers discount its importance, as a minor sense, when in truth we rely on it as an input channel to flesh out the world around us. Scents carry on the breeze, and they are with us all the time: from the perfumed odours of pollen blowing in the wind, to the pong as you pass a full dustbin, to the aroma of freshly cooked food wafting out of a pub.

Virtual girl is firmly placed for all time, in the category of camp, cheesy, low budget trash, attempting to pass itself off as VR. It?s a film with a schizophrenic direction. Half the time it is trying oh so hard, so desperately hard to be a sci-fi film about VR technology gone wrong. The other half of the time, it is trying to be soft core pornography. Thus, it fails miserably at both.


Industry News containing the Term Specular Pass:

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If a machine were to ‘take the Fifth Amendment’ – that is, exercise the right to remain silent throughout the test – it could, potentially, pass the test and thus be regarded as a thinking entity, authors Kevin Warwick and Huma Shah...

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Simthetiq Inc. gives access to a real...

Researchers are developing a new class of tiny mechanical devices containing vibrating, hair-thin structures that could be used to filter electronic signals in cell phones and for other more exotic applications.

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