Cycles – HDR probes and Sky Texture

Hi all! Today’s tutorial will be about using HDR probes and the generated Sky texture in Blender Cycles.

HDR Probes

Cycles has a feature where you can use an image as the sky, and it will help illuminate your scene and make it more realistic. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to set one up! πŸ™‚

  1. Find an HDR probe. You don’t have to use an HDR probe, you could use a JPG, PNG, or any image as a sky. You can download some probes HERE (mostly for scenes that you will not see the sky), and HERE are some probes that are actual skies.
  2. In Blender, make sure your render engine is Cycles: cycles
  3. Visit the “World” settings in the Properties Window. (If there is a button that says “Use Nodes”, press it. πŸ˜‰ )properties
  4. Change the color type to Environment Texture. env texture
  5. Select your probe. NOTE: If the probe looks like a sphere, it is called a “Mirror Ball”. If it is a long image, it is called an “Equirectangular” probe. You can set Blender to use a specific type in the same place you change the image. projection

That’s how you add a probe!

Sky Texture

Blender also has a feature to generate a sky texture! From the dropdown list you selected Environment Texture, there is also Sky Texture. sky tex

  1. Once you select Sky Texture, you will notice that (if you are in Rendered viewport mode) the sky changes to look like a cloud-less sky. This helps to color your scene, but it has no clouds.
  2. To add clouds, we will use the Open-Shading Language (OSL). there is a neat script written by “br1992” from BlenderArtists.org that adds clouds to your Sky Texture! (LINK)
  3. Go to the Composting Window, go to the material editing, and select World texture. (See image) compositing sky
  4. Make sure you are in CPU rendering! OSL only works on CPU, unfortunately. When you switch to CPU, check the “Open Shading Language” box below it.CPU
  5. Add (Shift+A)>Script>Script Script
  6. On the script Node, select Internal. Go to the Scripting window, and paste the code into a new Script. newscriptpaste
  7. Go back to the Compositing window, and select the script from the dropdown menu on the Script Node. Connect the Sky Texture node to the “Sky” color input on the Script Node. πŸ™‚clouds

And now you have a sky for your scene! πŸ˜€

-rioforce

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