Part Seven: HDR Environment Maps

HDR environment mapping allows you to have an environment outside of windows for added realism. If you would like to add an HDR background environment, you can add this in PhotoLab using the Image Based Light setting.

To add an HDR environment map, start out by opening PhotoLab.

In PhotoLab, start out by making sure your photograph setup is using realistic lighting. To apply realistic lighting, scroll down in the left side panel and hit the Simple button.

From there, select the Realistic box.

Under the Realistic menu, select the Background thumbnail image. This is where you can download any HDR images you wish to use for your project. You do not need to adjust any other settings here.

Download an image by clicking on one of the cloud download icons.

Next, simply scroll back down and select the Advanced button to go back to the Advanced settings panel.

Next, open the Lighting & Shadows tab then select the top drop-down menu and select Image Based Light. 

Please note, Image Based Light is the only lighting model on this menu that is compatible with Yulio Jump. This is because Yulio Jump is a physically correct rendering engine and from this menu Image Based Light is the only physically correct lighting model.

Under the Image Based Light panel, click on the thumbnail to select which background you would like to use and check off the Use Image as Background button.

Please note, if you have already created multiple scenes in PhotoLab for your project – you will need to go scene to scene to apply the HDR background to each scene. We recommend creating your first scene, applying the HDR background and then creating the rest of your scenes in PhotoLab so the HDR environment gets auto applied for you.

Once you have created all of your desired scenes, head over to the Yulio Jump extension and render with the CET Native Lighting model.

Insider Tip – All HDR environments available in CET will emit different types of light based on the environment you select. For example, a bright snowy landscape will emit a much brighter light than a greenspace. Click here to view a project that compares different HDR environments.

Select Mark Complete to move onto the next lesson.