Reflection Probes in Unity

Objective: To understand what a Reflection Probe is in Unity and how to use them.

The best way to think of a reflection probe is “a camera that captures a spherical view of it’s surroundings in all directions” — Unity documentation. The image that has been captured is then stored in the form of a cubemap that can then be used by objects that have reflective materials.

How to Add a Reflection Probe

Right click in HierarchyLightReflection Probe. This will drop the probe into the scene that looks like a sphere:

Turning on Gizmos will show the box that the reflection probe is working within:

Make sure to adjust the box size on the X, Y and Z axis so that it fits the room. Also, if we were to add another room next to this one, we don’t want the reflective probe to be present there so it is best to just keep the box within this room.

Sometimes this reflective probe can be a bit of a hit and miss and entirely depends on how you want to build out your scene. Personally after playing around with some settings and the Intensity setting, I like it in my scene and adds a small shiny detail to objects such as the stairs and railings.

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