3 New Sky HDRIs

Here are another 3 HDRIs :) And there will be 7 more coming next week.

If you’re interested in the full-resolution versions, you can pre-order the bundle of 10 before next Tuesday and get 25% off the regular price (which is already 33% lower than the price of the HDRIs individually).

Download Free HDRI - rocky_ridgeDownload Free HDRI - rocky_ridge

Download Free HDRI (1024×512)
Licensed CC-BY

Download Free HDRI - sisuluDownload Free HDRI - sisulu

Download Free HDRI (1024×512)
Licensed CC-BY

Download Free HDRI - park_benchDownload Free HDRI - park_bench

Download Free HDRI (1024×512)
Licensed CC-BY

You might recognize the first location – it’s the closest place to my house that has a fairly clear view of the sky. Joburg is notorious for all its trees, so it’s quite hard to find places like this that don’t have huge trees or buildings blocking a bunch of the sky.

I shot all three of these (and many of the 7 coming next week) last year around July/August as a bonus for the AgenZasBrothers’s new video workshop (which is extremely good by the way, and I’m not just saying that). It was during this time that I really nailed down my technique of capturing the sun and all its ridiculous brightness.


Denoising in Cycles Coming Soon


Model by 1DInc

Lukas Stockner has been working on yet another awesome Cycles feature, this time a sneaky method to reduce noise without actually rendering more samples.

Read more and download a Windows build from the BA thread.

To put it simply, “denoising” is a process of analysing your render and trying to shmoosh the noise/grain together and make it look clean.

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How to Create Your Own HDR Environment Maps

Note: This is an update of an old tutorial,
I’ve learnt a lot since then and made the process easier.


A simple 3D scene that was lit using only the HDRI above (no additional lamps)

There is no easier or quicker way to light a CG scene than to use an HDRI. They are essentially snapshots of the real world that contain exquisitely detailed lighting information, which can transport your bland CG objects into realistic virtual environments.

Not only do they provide accurate lighting, but they can be seen in the background and in reflections, which makes them all the more immersive.

Creating a high quality HDRI from scratch is quite a complicated task that requires very specific equipment and a meticulous workflow. One mistake like using the wrong focal length or choosing a slow shutter speed can mean all your time has been wasted and you’ll have to start all over again.

I’ve been making HDRIs for a couple of years now, so I hope I can save you some time and experimentation. This is by no means the only way to make an HDRI, but it is a good introduction to the process.

By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have made your very own 360º HDR environment map that can be used to light a 3D scene.

Buckle your seat belts boys and girls, because this is gonna be a long one!

Continue Reading…