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When light refracts through or reflects off of a surface, these bent rays are focused together, creating a bright pattern referred to as a caustic.

Refractive Caustic Reflective Caustic
indirect_caustics_wineglass.jpg Caustics_Direct_Reflective_HighQuality_100000.jpg
The light refracts through the wine glass. The light reflects off the gold ring.

In addition to reflective and refractive, there are two other types of caustics:

Indirect caustics

Caustics created by indirect lighting (scene illumination).

Indirect refractive caustics are always on in SolidWorks.

Indirect reflective caustics are always off in SolidWorks.

Direct caustics

Caustics created by direct lighting, including spot or point lights.

Directional lights do not affect direct or indirect caustics.

Direct caustics are only visible when reflected off a floor appearance or real geometry. To turn on direct caustics, click PhotoView > Options and use the PropertyManager. Direct caustics are only visible in the final render image.

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