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Custom HDRI Background

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By 'background' do you mean a 360 degree spherical HDRI that you can use to illuminate a 3d model? If so, unfortunately it's not the simplest of tasks.

Here's a link with suggested step-by-step that I found by googling 'create spherical hdri map':

Adaptive Samples :: How to Create Your Own HDR Environment Images

Step #5 (assuming you get through #1-4) applies to Blender, which you can ignore since you would be using Vectorworks. The correct projection for the RW background HDRI is 'Equirectangular', which has proportions of 2:1 (eg. 3000px wide by 1500px high).

Software-wise, unless you already own a recent version of Photoshop, I would recommend using PTGui

Here's a link to a tutorial on creating HDRI Panoramas with PTGui

Good Luck!

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  • 3 months later...

With VW 2016 you can now do a 'cheat version' of HDRI, that only requires a regular panorama image, that you can create with most smartphones.

Any image can now be mapped onto the background 'sphere' regardless of its proportions. It will automatically be stretched to fit.

The resulting panoramic background is similar to a hdri in the sense that it lights the scene and is reflected by objects, but as far as I can see, it does not come close to the dynamic range from highlight to shadow, that a true HDR image has.

So I guess the scene would need some extra lights to get sufficient contrast.

But still – it is an awesome feature.

Perhaps someone has tested this feature more than I and can share additional insights.

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  • 1 year later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Related to this subject... I've found a collection of HDRI backgrounds, each at a variety of resolutions (256p, 512p, 1k, 2k, 4k, 8k, 16k).


Which resolutions are best used in Vectorworks?

Which resolutions would be beyond what Vectorworks can handle or are beyond what would be appreciable?




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  • 2 months later...

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