3ds Max + V-Ray Next: V-Ray Dome Light & HDRI Workflow
One of the awesome things about arch viz these days is that you can instantly change the entire mood of your image with very simple, intuitive changes. One of the best ways to experiment with this is by using HDRI (High Dynamic Range Images), or image based lighting. HDRIs are usually just background images, primarily sky, that have a high dynamic range of light built into them. This means the range of intensity possible for each pixel is well...high. So high that it can actually be used to light your scene. For example, the sun in your sky image could be extremely bright, like white but times 6, while the shadows could just be dark blue (times 1). This huge range of intensity gives you enough information to actually generate a perfect environment lighting for you scene. That white times 6 pixel can act just like a direct light!
Anyway, it is not so important to understand how this all works, as to understand how to use it properly when doing arch viz projects. Check out this video below to see more about how to integrate them into your scene. SPOILER: They make it super easy to get accurate lighting, and to instantly change the whole mood of your image.
"If you want to get the model that is being used in this video, you can find it [HERE]
In this [tutorial] I answer all your questions about how to implement HDRI images into your model using the V-Ray dome light in V-Ray Next (and older versions of V-Ray). I will give you many tips and tricks, and also experiment with different settings to show you what they do.We will also talk about the theory and technique for getting well balanced exposures using HDRI lighting with the V-Ray dome light.I addition, I will show you where to get some great FREE HDRI maps that are perfect for arch viz. You can plug them into your scene right away and start using them to follow along with what I am doing. Overall, if you are wanting to get really nice lighting used image based light and lighting techniques, check out this tutorial."