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Gloss is an optical property of a surface to reflect light in a specular (mirror-like) direction. It is one of a number of important parameters that are used to describe the visual appearance of an object. The factors that affect gloss are the refractive index of the material, the angle of incident light and the surface topography.

Of the above, the last two components are responsible for the apparent gloss:

  • Specular reflection – the main component which is the amount of light reflected from a surface in an equal and opposite direction to the angle of light striking it (incident light).
  • Diffuse reflection – the amount of light that is scattered over a range of directions.

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