A question about it...I used to use it a lot before I learned how certain effects are more properly done, but I'm just curious if it can be used to improve the performance of raytraced reflections on an object in a large scene? If not...what is it intended for?

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It's intended for that non-photorealistic effect where the reflection disappears half way along when you've got something sitting on a reflective surface.  I'd have to look at the code to check if it improves performance by shortening the ray test.

Oh, for reflections that look like they were faked in photoshop? I guess I was using it correctly then.

I can't imagine it would speed up raytraced refections enough for what I'd like, but it would be nice to have a better approximation of the ground surface reflected than the flat colour from my HDR. Is there a way to do THAT, with a composite environment or something?

Could you post an image?

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