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Monday, 15 April 2013

Ongoing - A Little Diversion: Playing With IBL and Environment Maps

Still mainly working on my website, but while I was messing about with the 'specialist software' page I tracked down a download link for HDRShop version 1 (it's on the tools page of HDRLabs site here) which is the original, still free version. (There's no longer any link to it from the actual HDRShop site, just the current version 3).

That sent me off at a tangent and I've been playing with creating my own environment maps and light probes using totally free software:
1) Set up a simple world in Terragen Classic.
2) Render the six views required for a cube map.
3) Using GIMP join the six renders into a single vertical cross cube map
4) Using HDRShop Version 1 convert the cube map to equirectangular and angular maps.
And that's it! Using this approach it should (not yet tested) be possible to create proper HDR light probes - simply repeat step (2) using a few different exposure settings, and add a step (2a) to use HDRShop to combine the multiple exposures into a single .hdr image, before proceeding to step 3. But like I said, I haven't got that far yet.

A DIY skydome's easy, and getting that working nicely with my maps and probes, and Poser's Diffuse IBL didn't take long - here's a sample:

But trying to get it working in DAZ Studio is taking a bit longer - I'm having problems getting to grips with ShaderMixer light shaders. But give it time...

I've posted a few test images on the DAZ Freepozitory forum on the 'Test Images For IBL and Environment Maps (to ease past the confusing terminology) UPDATED' thread.

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