While going around finding something new to learn that could spice up my renders, I found this really easy way to add backgrounds to your models without using a Dome Light (I mentioned that method in a previous tutorial).
To get to it you’ll need, either a HDRI or a HD image with a panoramic view (Day, Night, or Dusk); you can choose anything you like or think would help with the final render/location of model.
I’m using VRay 2.4 and Sketchup 2015; if you have different versions and have questions, feel free to drop a comment.
Note: Keep in mind that the overall color of the image will influence the color of the natural lighting, for example: if you use an image that has a lot of orange hues, the natural lighting will be tinged orange. So, unless you want that certain effect, choose your background wisely.
If you want over 600 MB of FREE HQ HDRIs (Sky + Background) files, then continue to the end of this post.
I’ll be adding this view:
To This Scene:
Open your VRay ‘Options’ window, and head to the ‘Environment’ tab, Make sure that ‘GI(skylight)’ and ‘Reflection/refraction (background)’ are checked and then press the ‘M’ button in ‘GI (skylight)’.
Note: The steps we’ll be doing should be applied to both ‘GI(skylight)’ and ‘Reflection/refraction (background)’.
From the drop down menu under, choose ‘TexBitmap’.
Brows for your desired image
Make sure you choose the exact image for both ‘GI(skylight)’ and ‘Reflection/refraction (background)’.
Scroll down to ‘UVW’ and set ‘UVW Type’ to ‘UVWGenEnvironment’ and ‘Mapping Type’ to ‘Spehrical’.
Now render! It should come out looking like this
If you’re rendering a day scene and want the light to show, tweak ‘GI(skylight)’ value till you get what you want. I usually go for 5.
It should come out looking like this
- Use images above 4 MP; you can find those via Google’s image search, and from ‘Search Tools‘ choose ‘Larger Than..‘ then ‘4MP‘.
- Always choose an image that is actually related to the approximate location of the model, as in, don’t choose a mountain view for a down town bachelor pad..
- If you’re making a daylight scene and want the sunlight to play a bigger role than the other lights, uncheck ‘Exposure’ in the ‘Camera’ tab, and amp up the ‘GI(skylight)’ value. You can post-process it later in Photoshop to tweak brightness and shadows.
Hope this tutorial comes in handy for your next project!
If you encounter any issues such as a Black Background or a Transparent Background, please head over to this post HERE for a fix.
If you’re looking to fix the Shadow/Sun problem caused by the HDRI, go HERE.
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You’ll get weekly updates on new posts and access to our library; where we have over 600 MB of HQ HDRIs (Environment Backgrounds) for FREE!