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Works about everywhere (dual texture cards, i.e. TNT2 and up). Requires Unity 2.x Pro. Works in scene view as well!
Works about everywhere (dual texture cards, i.e. TNT2 and up). Requires Unity 2.x Pro. Works in scene view as well!
See also: [[MirrorReflection|Mirror Reflection for Unity 1.x]].
'''Notes:''' this is for Unity 2.x! For a more modern version, see [[MirrorReflection4|Mirror Reflection for Unity 4/5]]!

Revision as of 08:43, 25 February 2015

Author: Aras Pranckevicius



This is shader+script to make perfectly reflective mirrors, for Unity 2.x. Use the FX/Mirror Reflection shader on an object, attach the MirrorReflection script to it and there you are.

Works about everywhere (dual texture cards, i.e. TNT2 and up). Requires Unity 2.x Pro. Works in scene view as well!

Notes: this is for Unity 2.x! For a more modern version, see Mirror Reflection for Unity 4/5!


Prerequisites: This technique requires Unity 2.x Pro.

  • Create a material that uses the shader below (FX/Mirror Reflection)
  • Use this material on a plane-like (i.e. flat) object.
  • Set this object to use Water layer.
  • Attach the MirrorReflection to the same object.


  • The reflection happens along object's 'up' direction (green axis in the scene view). E.g. the builtin plane object is suitable for use as a mirror. If you experience weird reflection, check whether your mirror object is oriented correctly.


A small example project folder can be found here:

ShaderLab - MirrorReflection.shader

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You need to specify a language like this: <source lang="html4strict">...</source>

Supported languages for syntax highlighting:

4cs, 6502acme, 6502kickass, 6502tasm, 68000devpac, abap, actionscript, actionscript3, ada, algol68, apache, applescript, apt_sources, asm, asp, autoconf, autohotkey, autoit, avisynth, awk, bascomavr, bash, basic4gl, bf, bibtex, blitzbasic, bnf, boo, c, c_loadrunner, c_mac, caddcl, cadlisp, cfdg, cfm, chaiscript, cil, clojure, cmake, cobol, coffeescript, cpp, cpp-qt, csharp, css, cuesheet, d, dcs, delphi, diff, div, dos, dot, e, ecmascript, eiffel, email, epc, erlang, euphoria, f1, falcon, fo, fortran, freebasic, fsharp, gambas, gdb, genero, genie, gettext, glsl, gml, gnuplot, go, groovy, gwbasic, haskell, hicest, hq9plus, html4strict, html5, icon, idl, ini, inno, intercal, io, j, java, java5, javascript, jquery, kixtart, klonec, klonecpp, latex, lb, lisp, llvm, locobasic, logtalk, lolcode, lotusformulas, lotusscript, lscript, lsl2, lua, m68k, magiksf, make, mapbasic, matlab, mirc, mmix, modula2, modula3, mpasm, mxml, mysql, newlisp, nsis, oberon2, objc, objeck, ocaml, ocaml-brief, oobas, oracle11, oracle8, oxygene, oz, pascal, pcre, per, perl, perl6, pf, php, php-brief, pic16, pike, pixelbender, pli, plsql, postgresql, povray, powerbuilder, powershell, proftpd, progress, prolog, properties, providex, purebasic, pycon, python, q, qbasic, rails, rebol, reg, robots, rpmspec, rsplus, ruby, sas, scala, scheme, scilab, sdlbasic, smalltalk, smarty, sql, systemverilog, tcl, teraterm, text, thinbasic, tsql, typoscript, unicon, uscript, vala, vb, vbnet, verilog, vhdl, vim, visualfoxpro, visualprolog, whitespace, whois, winbatch, xbasic, xml, xorg_conf, xpp, yaml, z80, zxbasic

Shader "FX/Mirror Reflection" { 
Properties {
    _MainTex ("Base (RGB)", 2D) = "white" {}
    _ReflectionTex ("Reflection", 2D) = "white" { TexGen ObjectLinear }

// two texture cards: full thing
Subshader { 
    Pass {
        SetTexture[_MainTex] { combine texture }
        SetTexture[_ReflectionTex] { matrix [_ProjMatrix] combine texture * previous }

// fallback: just main texture
Subshader {
    Pass {
        SetTexture [_MainTex] { combine texture }


C# - MirrorReflection.cs

using UnityEngine;
using System.Collections;
// This is in fact just the Water script from Pro Standard Assets,
// just with refraction stuff removed.
[ExecuteInEditMode] // Make mirror live-update even when not in play mode
public class MirrorReflection : MonoBehaviour
    public bool m_DisablePixelLights = true;
    public int m_TextureSize = 256;
    public float m_ClipPlaneOffset = 0.07f;
    public LayerMask m_ReflectLayers = -1;
    private Hashtable m_ReflectionCameras = new Hashtable(); // Camera -> Camera table
    private RenderTexture m_ReflectionTexture = null;
    private int m_OldReflectionTextureSize = 0;
    private static bool s_InsideRendering = false;
    // This is called when it's known that the object will be rendered by some
    // camera. We render reflections and do other updates here.
    // Because the script executes in edit mode, reflections for the scene view
    // camera will just work!
    public void OnWillRenderObject()
        if( !enabled || !renderer || !renderer.sharedMaterial || !renderer.enabled )
        Camera cam = Camera.current;
        if( !cam )
        // Safeguard from recursive reflections.        
        if( s_InsideRendering )
        s_InsideRendering = true;
        Camera reflectionCamera;
        CreateMirrorObjects( cam, out reflectionCamera );
        // find out the reflection plane: position and normal in world space
        Vector3 pos = transform.position;
        Vector3 normal = transform.up;
        // Optionally disable pixel lights for reflection
        int oldPixelLightCount = QualitySettings.pixelLightCount;
        if( m_DisablePixelLights )
            QualitySettings.pixelLightCount = 0;
        UpdateCameraModes( cam, reflectionCamera );
        // Render reflection
        // Reflect camera around reflection plane
        float d = -Vector3.Dot (normal, pos) - m_ClipPlaneOffset;
        Vector4 reflectionPlane = new Vector4 (normal.x, normal.y, normal.z, d);
        Matrix4x4 reflection = Matrix4x4.zero;
        CalculateReflectionMatrix (ref reflection, reflectionPlane);
        Vector3 oldpos = cam.transform.position;
        Vector3 newpos = reflection.MultiplyPoint( oldpos );
        reflectionCamera.worldToCameraMatrix = cam.worldToCameraMatrix * reflection;
        // Setup oblique projection matrix so that near plane is our reflection
        // plane. This way we clip everything below/above it for free.
        Vector4 clipPlane = CameraSpacePlane( reflectionCamera, pos, normal, 1.0f );
        Matrix4x4 projection = cam.projectionMatrix;
        CalculateObliqueMatrix (ref projection, clipPlane);
        reflectionCamera.projectionMatrix = projection;
        reflectionCamera.cullingMask = ~(1<<4) & m_ReflectLayers.value; // never render water layer
        reflectionCamera.targetTexture = m_ReflectionTexture;
        GL.SetRevertBackfacing (true);
        reflectionCamera.transform.position = newpos;
        Vector3 euler = cam.transform.eulerAngles;
        reflectionCamera.transform.eulerAngles = new Vector3(0, euler.y, euler.z);
        reflectionCamera.transform.position = oldpos;
        GL.SetRevertBackfacing (false);
        Material[] materials = renderer.sharedMaterials;
        foreach( Material mat in materials ) {
            if( mat.HasProperty("_ReflectionTex") )
                mat.SetTexture( "_ReflectionTex", m_ReflectionTexture );
        // Set matrix on the shader that transforms UVs from object space into screen
        // space. We want to just project reflection texture on screen.
        Matrix4x4 scaleOffset = Matrix4x4.TRS(
            new Vector3(0.5f,0.5f,0.5f), Quaternion.identity, new Vector3(0.5f,0.5f,0.5f) );
        Vector3 scale = transform.lossyScale;
        Matrix4x4 mtx = transform.localToWorldMatrix * Matrix4x4.Scale( new Vector3(1.0f/scale.x, 1.0f/scale.y, 1.0f/scale.z) );
        mtx = scaleOffset * cam.projectionMatrix * cam.worldToCameraMatrix * mtx;
        foreach( Material mat in materials ) {
            mat.SetMatrix( "_ProjMatrix", mtx );
        // Restore pixel light count
        if( m_DisablePixelLights )
            QualitySettings.pixelLightCount = oldPixelLightCount;
        s_InsideRendering = false;
    // Cleanup all the objects we possibly have created
    void OnDisable()
        if( m_ReflectionTexture ) {
            DestroyImmediate( m_ReflectionTexture );
            m_ReflectionTexture = null;
        foreach( DictionaryEntry kvp in m_ReflectionCameras )
            DestroyImmediate( ((Camera)kvp.Value).gameObject );
    private void UpdateCameraModes( Camera src, Camera dest )
        if( dest == null )
        // set camera to clear the same way as current camera
        dest.clearFlags = src.clearFlags;
        dest.backgroundColor = src.backgroundColor;        
        if( src.clearFlags == CameraClearFlags.Skybox )
            Skybox sky = src.GetComponent(typeof(Skybox)) as Skybox;
            Skybox mysky = dest.GetComponent(typeof(Skybox)) as Skybox;
            if( !sky || !sky.material )
                mysky.enabled = false;
                mysky.enabled = true;
                mysky.material = sky.material;
        // update other values to match current camera.
        // even if we are supplying custom camera&projection matrices,
        // some of values are used elsewhere (e.g. skybox uses far plane)
        dest.farClipPlane = src.farClipPlane;
        dest.nearClipPlane = src.nearClipPlane;
        dest.orthographic = src.orthographic;
        dest.fieldOfView = src.fieldOfView;
        dest.aspect = src.aspect;
        dest.orthographicSize = src.orthographicSize;
    // On-demand create any objects we need
    private void CreateMirrorObjects( Camera currentCamera, out Camera reflectionCamera )
        reflectionCamera = null;
        // Reflection render texture
        if( !m_ReflectionTexture || m_OldReflectionTextureSize != m_TextureSize )
            if( m_ReflectionTexture )
                DestroyImmediate( m_ReflectionTexture );
            m_ReflectionTexture = new RenderTexture( m_TextureSize, m_TextureSize, 16 );
            m_ReflectionTexture.name = "__MirrorReflection" + GetInstanceID();
            m_ReflectionTexture.isPowerOfTwo = true;
            m_ReflectionTexture.hideFlags = HideFlags.DontSave;
            m_OldReflectionTextureSize = m_TextureSize;
        // Camera for reflection
        reflectionCamera = m_ReflectionCameras[currentCamera] as Camera;
        if( !reflectionCamera ) // catch both not-in-dictionary and in-dictionary-but-deleted-GO
            GameObject go = new GameObject( "Mirror Refl Camera id" + GetInstanceID() + " for " + currentCamera.GetInstanceID(), typeof(Camera), typeof(Skybox) );
            reflectionCamera = go.camera;
            reflectionCamera.enabled = false;
            reflectionCamera.transform.position = transform.position;
            reflectionCamera.transform.rotation = transform.rotation;
            go.hideFlags = HideFlags.HideAndDontSave;
            m_ReflectionCameras[currentCamera] = reflectionCamera;
    // Extended sign: returns -1, 0 or 1 based on sign of a
    private static float sgn(float a)
        if (a > 0.0f) return 1.0f;
        if (a < 0.0f) return -1.0f;
        return 0.0f;
    // Given position/normal of the plane, calculates plane in camera space.
    private Vector4 CameraSpacePlane (Camera cam, Vector3 pos, Vector3 normal, float sideSign)
        Vector3 offsetPos = pos + normal * m_ClipPlaneOffset;
        Matrix4x4 m = cam.worldToCameraMatrix;
        Vector3 cpos = m.MultiplyPoint( offsetPos );
        Vector3 cnormal = m.MultiplyVector( normal ).normalized * sideSign;
        return new Vector4( cnormal.x, cnormal.y, cnormal.z, -Vector3.Dot(cpos,cnormal) );
    // Adjusts the given projection matrix so that near plane is the given clipPlane
    // clipPlane is given in camera space. See article in Game Programming Gems 5 and
    // http://aras-p.info/texts/obliqueortho.html
    private static void CalculateObliqueMatrix (ref Matrix4x4 projection, Vector4 clipPlane)
        Vector4 q = projection.inverse * new Vector4(
        Vector4 c = clipPlane * (2.0F / (Vector4.Dot (clipPlane, q)));
        // third row = clip plane - fourth row
        projection[2] = c.x - projection[3];
        projection[6] = c.y - projection[7];
        projection[10] = c.z - projection[11];
        projection[14] = c.w - projection[15];
    // Calculates reflection matrix around the given plane
    private static void CalculateReflectionMatrix (ref Matrix4x4 reflectionMat, Vector4 plane)
        reflectionMat.m00 = (1F - 2F*plane[0]*plane[0]);
        reflectionMat.m01 = (   - 2F*plane[0]*plane[1]);
        reflectionMat.m02 = (   - 2F*plane[0]*plane[2]);
        reflectionMat.m03 = (   - 2F*plane[3]*plane[0]);
        reflectionMat.m10 = (   - 2F*plane[1]*plane[0]);
        reflectionMat.m11 = (1F - 2F*plane[1]*plane[1]);
        reflectionMat.m12 = (   - 2F*plane[1]*plane[2]);
        reflectionMat.m13 = (   - 2F*plane[3]*plane[1]);
        reflectionMat.m20 = (   - 2F*plane[2]*plane[0]);
        reflectionMat.m21 = (   - 2F*plane[2]*plane[1]);
        reflectionMat.m22 = (1F - 2F*plane[2]*plane[2]);
        reflectionMat.m23 = (   - 2F*plane[3]*plane[2]);
        reflectionMat.m30 = 0F;
        reflectionMat.m31 = 0F;
        reflectionMat.m32 = 0F;
        reflectionMat.m33 = 1F;


  • 2007 November 12 - Works with orthographic cameras
  • 2007 November 8 - Support multiple materials on the mirror object
  • 2007 October 22 - Initial version
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