Operating system: Windows-10-10.0.18362 64 Bits
Graphics card: GeForce GTX 1080 Ti/PCIe/SSE2 NVIDIA Corporation 4.5.0 NVIDIA 436.02
Broken: version: 2.81 (sub 14), branch: master, commit date: 2019-10-08 22:16, hash: rB0812949bbc3d
Short description of error
Regression: Cycles Viewlayer - Holdout not renderable without casting shadows and reflections
In Blender 2.79b it was possible to have a holdout (mask layer) and exclude it form illumination
This was the renderlayer config
This isn´t possible in 2.8x anymore.
In 2.8x the object that is masked (holdout) is always used in illumination calculation.
Rendering from 2.81
You see the reflection and the shadow of the red masked cube.
Both following viewlayer configurations do the same.
If you think logical, the configuration in the last image should not calculate illumination for this viewlayer, because indirect illumination is off!
If holdout and indirect only are off the layer is calculated normal.
If holdout is on then indirect only off/on should have an effect! **
Exact steps for others to reproduce the error
Open the attached blend file for blender 2.8
Activate Vieport rendering
You see that the red cube is masked out but shadows and reflections are calculated for it on the other cubes. Activate Indirect only next to the holdout icon in the outliner.
Open the attached blend file for blender 2.79b.
Click on Render > Render Image
You get this result. No reflection and no shadow from the masked cube.
Deaktivate Exclude for layer three in the layer tab.
Render the image again. As expected the masked cube is calculated and casts shadows and reflections on the other cubes.