In real life, except for mirrors, most of reflections will fade with distance. Take for example a polished floorboard floor, one can see the reflection of the bottom of the furniture and the base of the walls, but, as the reflection fades with distance, one can hardly see the ceiling, if at all.
Unfortunately, there's no control over the fading of reflections in EI, which tends to make materials with a bit too much reflectiveness applied to them look like mirrors.
Be warned that this procedure is a bit tricky and might not be appropriate in all situations, especially in scenes with a lot of objects, because it could prove a real pain in the neck applying the settings to more than, say, 50 groups. However, for scenes with single objects like packaging or furniture studies, or your latest concept car design, this trick will do a brilliant job... hey, we do what we can whilst waiting for the function to be included in the reflection tab of the group material window.
Before you start, your model (a cube for this tutorial) must already be textured (and animated if relevant, as this trick also works in animation).
As for the floor, a simple "mirror" reflection effect was applied to it, nothing more.
Part 1, the Trick...
Part 3, the options - (If the top of your head threatens to dislodge itself, stop right here...)
For models with multiple groups you'll have to apply the same gradient texture to all the duplicates of the original groups.
In order for the transparency map to be applied accurately onto all groups, starting from the floor and ending at the top of the highest part of the model, you'll need to copy a material containing only the transparency map (correctly adjusted) and then paste that same material onto all the remaining groups at the same time.
This way the gradient map will be applied onto all the relevant groups keeping its position relative to the floor.
The next step will be to copy and paste the materials from all of the original groups to their respective duplicates. Make sure you click "No" when asked if you want to replace the existing textures during the pasting process, so that the transparency map is not deleted.
ATip: use the Labels option to differenciate the original groups from the duplicate ones, this will allow you to tick checkboxes ("Cast shadows", ...) for all relevant groups at the same time by using the "Ctrl" key and select "Set Label" in the pop-up menu.
There's plenty more experimentations you can try, like fade the reflection colour by addind a gradient map in the "Diffuse" tab (multiply mode) of the duplicates...
You can also try to replace the gradient map with a shader like "aRamp", and even try to animate the shader in the reflection map only...
It will look even better with adding a tad of refraction to the floor.
That's all, folks.
Off to your keyboards you go, and test this procedure with a nice sailing ship, or an interior architectural scene. And more importantly, make sure you send me a stunning image of your achievements!!!