V-Ray IBL HDR Compositing: UPDATED with freebies!

Date: 04/16/2014 | Category: 3D

Here's a quick update to one of my more popular posts, the world of HDR (image-based) lighting. I've learned a few more techniques in both the photography and rendering aspects, and I also upgraded my "lightprobe" (which is basically just a chrome or mirror sphere). I was using a small christmas ornament before, and recently found a 10", hand-blown glass gazing globe for $25 on craigslist. It effectively increased the resolution of my HDR 5 times, which makes a world of difference. Also, I installed Magic Lantern on my Canon t2i, which allow for a much greater dynamic range in my HDR, from 3 images to 6 (or more).

Along with this updated post, I'm giving away the HDR and background image for free! It's a great generic setup for anything electronic, robotic, etc. In my case I whipped up a quick mini jet engine model, but you could add anything in there from a robotic hand, to some sort of sci-fi prop or weapon. Be sure to email me with any renderings you come up with, I'd love to see them, and certainly don't hesitate to ask about my render settings for the image below. Have fun!

Compositing is a pretty universal technique that involves inserting a CG component into a real-world photo or video. One of the main issues when dealing with this type of effect is matching the lighting of the target scene, so it looks like this CG element is actually part of the shot. Other aspects like exposure, reflections & shadows also add the extra touch to truly integrate your model into the scene.

Image Based Lighting (IBL) is the process of deriving these elements from a real world HDR photo, which is analyzed and used to generate a full lighting solution in your CG software.