I'm confused as to how to obtain mirror-like reflections in Cycles. I made my planes 100% glossy (color value:1, 0% roughness) but the reflections are very (very) dark.

The planes are simple extruded squares with no double vertices and normal pointing in the right direction. I applied a bevel and an edge split modifier.

I must be missing something and suspected it would be in the render settings tab, hence my screenshot below.

I thank you for reading that long and thank you again in advance for the help you may give me.

Have a nice day! NIcolas

Dark reflections Glossy shader

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Try increasing Clamp Indirect (Properties editor > Render tab > Sampling*) and Diffuse bounces (same window, same tab, Light Paths rollout). For testing turn Clamp Indirect off, and Diffuse bounces set to 8 or 10.They may cut caustics of the scene quite much, especially Clamp. $\endgroup$
    – Mr Zak
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ That's the thing! The first Clamp Indirect step when moving the slider is 0.03. I never imagined it could be increased to 10! Thank you very much! One more thing: how can I mark the topic as solved? $\endgroup$
    – leminilab
    Commented Oct 1, 2016 at 9:43

1 Answer 1


You have set too low values for clamping and amount of light bounces.

  1. In Properties editor > Render tab > Sampling rollout set Clamp Indirect to 0 (you can set it to something around 2 or 3, but test those values while changing). This will turn off clamping the values and return back to default. With that much clamping there won't be almost any reflection and light of higher values than clamping maximum.

    See more related:

  2. In Properties editor > Render tab > Light Paths rollout set Diffuse Bounces back to 4 (default) or even higher. It will allow light bouncing from diffuse surface to be bounced more times and make diffuse surface a bit brighter.

    With current settings the reflection and diffuse surface look quite dark:


    With default settings for Clamp Indirect and Diffuse light paths:



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