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When I use a plane as a shadow-catcher it becomes transparent but is still visible in reflections. Many people suggest unticking Glossy in the Ray Visibility section of the plane's Object properties. But this results in the shadows that the plane is catching also becoming invisible in reflections.

But this isn't what I want - the shadow catcher is transparent but the shadows it catches are not and I want the same whether looking at it directly or seeing it in reflections.

Any suggestions are much appreciated. And any explanation as to why this default behavior makes sense would also be interesting - it seems strange that something is handled differently depending on whether viewed directly or reflected.

The following renders show the issue clearly.

1. Shadow catcher and shadow visible in reflection. HDRI and reflected shadow

2. Neither shadow catcher nor shadow visible in reflection (when Glossy unticked). HDRI and glossy ray visibility turned off

3. No HDRI - shadow catcher and shadow visible in reflection. no HDRI and reflected shadow

4. No HDRI - neither shadow catcher nor shadow visible in reflection (when Glossy unticked). no HDRI and glossy ray visibility turned off

The .blend file and the .hdr can be found here:

https://github.com/george-hawkins/blend-bin/tree/master/shadow-catcher

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    $\begingroup$ In some cases shader worked for me the best blender.stackexchange.com/a/26686/2214 ... shadow catcher is still very limited $\endgroup$
    – vklidu
    Nov 24 '21 at 21:40
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for those great links. I'm so used to being amazed by everything in Blender (I'm fairly new to it) that I'm surprised to find something that seems to fail so obviously (i.e. something that's otherwise transparent being visible in reflected surfaces). $\endgroup$ Nov 24 '21 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ I was hopeful, given this issue (linked to as an update in the StackExchange answer you pointed to), that there might have been some changes here with Cycles X. But the shadow catcher seems to be just as visible in reflections in 3.0 beta and 3.1 alpha :( Will try the shader approach. $\endgroup$ Nov 24 '21 at 22:41

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