We are designing car headlight reflectors. The most important thing that we need to do is to design the curvature of the reflector so that all the light from bulb is reflected onto a specific and small part of road on front.

As soon as we have achieved light reflection simulation, we'll have to keep tweaking the reflector shape to achieve desired result.

Initially I tried doing it in SketchUp with a plugin that can simulate reflection of a light rays. But as per designers in our team, it's a very basic software and difficult to design in it.

Our designers have tried simulating reflection in Maya. But couldn't do it.

Can anyone please guide us on which software to use to simulate light reflection and design the reflector.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  • If you are looking for purely a 3D, dynamic solution, this may be off topic here. – Scott May 5 '13 at 17:42
  • I'm sorry if this is off topic. I've asked here nearly out of desperation. Hopefully someone can guide us. – Yogesh Sawant May 5 '13 at 19:01
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    Does that mean you are strictly looking for a 3D solution? – Scott May 5 '13 at 21:35
  • @Scott yes. I'm not sure if 2D can help. – Yogesh Sawant May 9 '13 at 12:36
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    I don't do 3d modeling, but I expect that you'd have a parabolic mirror with a single omnidirectional light source rendered with raytracing. All of this is built into Maya is it not? Is it too inaccurate? – horatio Nov 13 '13 at 20:53

i know this is an old topic but i would like to suggest using Cinema 4D, i have worked a lot using this software initially to have great light effects and realistic .

Hope this will help you


Cinema4D, Modo, After Effects, POV-Ray / YafaRay / MegaPOV are the things that come to my mind.


Have you thought of using Microsoft excel? It is a long process but the number can help with imaging on the mind where the light exists; additional help comes from the knowledge that number can be used with understanding the user as an adapter and accomodator of reflected light radiation.

Will ensure you do not lose sight of articulating the reflector to that of the observer, which is why you are building this for in the first place.

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    Please explain how on earth Excel is appropriate for this?? – benteh Jan 28 '16 at 9:02

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