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5.1 How to Set Up HDRI Lighting

In this lesson we will learn how to create a quick HDRI light setup to light the scene. We will then learn how to edit the settings and create shadows.

5.1 How to Set Up HDRI Lighting

Hi everyone, and welcome back to the oddly satisfying pendulum animation course. In this lesson, we'll learn how to set up HDRI lighting to light up our scene. So the way that we're going to light our scene up is by using a HDRI map, which is short for high dynamic range image. This is a special type of image which is capable of storing light information of a particular surrounding. Which means that we can get a lot more realistic looking lighting depending on what sort of map that we choose. So to access these maps, we need to click on the Content Browser again, which as at the right here. Go to Presets, Prime, and I go to Presets again, Light Setups, and then finally we have the HDRI folder here. Cool. So once we've opened that up you'll see that we've got a long list of different types of lighting that we can choose from. Let's dial this up here so that we can see a little bit closely of what each of these lighting HDRI images look like. And you can see we've got different types of lighting scenarios. So we've got clear sky buildings, cloudy parks, photo studio, different types of rooms, sunny marketplaces, and so on. So to choose one of these, just simply click on one of them. So I'm going to choose Sunny Promenade, double-click. And now the material should end up at the bottom here. We can also choose another couple more just to test them out. So let's go ahead and choose the Cloudy Park, and also the Default Cinema Environment. Excellent, so it's always good to test out different HDRI images, as they all have such different looks depending on the image you select. So let's start by testing out these three, but you can test out even more if you want. So in order to actually use these in our scene, we need to create a sky. So you can do this by going to this floor button at the top here. So click and hold on the mouse, and now we can select the sky. Cool. So let's go back to our Objects tab and you'll see that the sky has been added to our scene. So make sure that it's on top of the list. If it's not, just simply click and drag it all the way to the top. And then all we have to do from here is click and drag one of the HDRI images or the materials here into the sky. So let's go ahead and do that. So we're going to choose our first one, the Sunny Promenade, click and drag it, and add this to the sky here, like so. And you'll see straightaway it has been added to our scene. So as long as we've got this render preview open, we can check out how this affects the way that our scene looks. Cool. And you can also see that if we move around the scene here, let's move up, you can see how the image is actually in our scene as well. Now, because we don't want this background for our final render, let's go ahead and create a plane so that we can hide it. So go to cube, select plane, and we're going to move this over to here, to create a background. Let's just go head and deselect our interactive render region for now. Click on the plane, move this below the sky, and we want to go to the Object tab so that we can just create less width and height segment. So you just need one. We want to make this fairly big, so let's make this 5,000 by 5,000. And the orientation, we want this to be plus Z. And this will act as our wall for our background. Cool. We can also add a material for the wall as well. And now let's bring back our interactive render region so that we can see what that looks like. Excellent. In fact, let's go ahead and duplicate this material. So press Ctrl on the keyboard, click and drag to make a duplicate of it. And we want to make the wall, let's make it slightly darker than what we have for our wall that's housing our wheelhouses. Make this a little bit darker like so. And let's apply this to the wall material. That's a little bit too dark. So let's bring the color back in, like so. See what that looks like? Cool. So now we've got a wall, and this wall that's housing the wheel as two separate colors. Now, in order to truly see the lighting effects of these different HDRI images. We need to go into the Render Settings here. And let's add an effect, so we want to add Ambient Occlusion. And go to Effect again, and we want to add Global Illumination. And then straight away you'll see how that will affect our image here, like so. And now lastly, in order for the rest of our scene to show up, we need to go into Render Settings again. And go to the Renderer, and select the drop down box and select Physical, like so. And you'll see straight away, now. Our scene is colored. And this is how we're going to select the different HDRI images to experiment with as well. So it's just to get different looks. So you can see there, this is using the Sunny Promenade. And if we want to use a different HDRI image, let's go ahead and deselect that, and select Cloudy. And put that into the sky here like so. And you'll see straight away we've got a different lightning setup, and a different look for our animation, just like that. Great, so there you have it. The basics of how to use the HDRI map to light our scene. In the next lesson, we'll learn some rendering options to further improve the look of our animation, and also how to render the video. See you all there.

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