I recently got all the equipment necessary for creating my own high quality HDRIs (not cheap and a bit frustrating at first). This seemed like a perfect opportunity to create a tutorial on HDRI lighting in VRay.
I’ve seen a lot of methods and tutorials over the years:
- HDRI Map in Environment slot
- VRayDomeLight with a texture
- VRayDomeLight + VraySun
- VRayDomeLight with a manually painted in bright spot for sharper shadows
- VRayDomeLight with HDRI Gamma lowered
*HDRI Map in Environment does not give a high quality result and sometimes causes bright spot glitches.
*Adding a bright spot in the HDRI is IMHO not a good option, as it is hard to control exact amount of shadow hardness/strength.
In the end I settled for a combined workflow – VRayDome Light + VRay sun for precise shadow control + Gamma changes for controlling contrast of the background.
For me this combo gives the best results and most precise control over all the aspects of lights and shadows.
This method takes a bit more time to set it up, but once you understand how it works, it’s not so hard.
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