Using Reflection Probes in Unity3D and the URP

Jared Amlin
5 min readJan 7, 2022

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In real life, just about everything has a reflective quality to some extent or another. While stainless steel and other metals offer a lot of reflectivity, even soft materials such as a pillow offer some amount of reflection to their environment. While reflection probes in Unity and the Universal Render Pipeline won’t yield the same photo-realistic results as the screen space reflections available in the HDRP, they will give your scene some nice general reflectivity. When it comes to developing for mobile devices or other platforms with less processing power than a modern gaming console or PC, reflection probes are your best friend.

To create a reflection probe, navigate to GameObject>Light>Reflection Probe.

You should now see the reflection probe show up in the hierarchy.

The scene view will show the reflection probe as a smooth chrome sphere. The spherical reflection probe works like a camera that captures it’s environment in 360 degrees, and then places that data into a cubemap.

I want reflections throughout this entire scene. Anterior and lateral orthographic views can be quickly accessed with the Scene Gizmo, which is handy for relocating the probe to the center of the scene environment.

With the Gizmos visible, you should be able to see an outline showing the current size of the reflection area box. Reflections will only be shown within the box, so let’s make it as large as this room.

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Jared Amlin

I am an artist and musician, that is currently diving headfirst into game development with C# and Unity3D.