Environment ball


I am trying to set up an environment ball for reflections in objects. I don’t want to use the blender sky, but rather an actual dome that has a sky texture. So far, so good. But now, is there a way to include this dome in the reflections of other objects, without rendering the dome itself?

I found the “sky” option in the object’s material settings and it works. Problem, however, is that this only solves one half. The sun light is still considering the dome in it’s light calculations, everything inside the dome falls into complete shade. The dome is not casting shadows…

I could turn of “traceable” but that not only gets rid of the shade but also of the reflections!

Any clues?

I would use the blender sky with a texture, then enable RGBA in render settings, save as alpha compatible. Then composite background in?

It is not about the background, I don’t even want to use my dome as a background. It’s only purpose is to deliver something other objects can reflect. On top of that, as long as there is not a visual representation to what the blender sky is actually I doing, I want to stay away from it. I want to have control over size, texture mapping and orientation of my dome.

There must be away to exclude the dome from the sun light. I tried putting it into an light group but that did not seem to work either…

I have the same problem, I use alot of transmaps for hair, and SSS for skin. To speed things up I turn off “Traceable” like you did. But the second my character looks in the mirror, he’s bald.

I’m not sure if there is a way to exclude shadow calculation from raytracing. Though I’m sure through code and script anything is possible.

After all this time Blender has been available, I’m sure someone has developed a solution.

Good to know that I am not all alone with this problem, because it seemed like sth must have went past me since there were no threads on this. I’m not too sure if the python API would provide this extra functionality, since I am not sure if the functionality is even in the source code…

I would request the feature for the next build of blender, however I doubt that they can pay too much attention to this, (due to more important requests)

But they say that every voice is heard.

I’ve never really worked with them, but was reading up on environment maps just the other day.
Played around with them a bit, got it to work, but didn’t go any further with it.


I just wonder where that mysterious feature request form is hiding. I am constantly making notes of stuff I want to see. I got a whole list of stuff, mainly concerning minor features and workflow improvements.

This can be done using layers and setting up 1 render layer.

Move the scene (incl. objects with reflection) to layer 1+2.
Move the textured dome to layer 2. Set the material to shadeless.
Move the lamp to layer 1. Set it to ‘This Layer Only’ (it’ll only light the scene objects).
In the Render properties, under the Layers tab, only check Layer 1 to render.


I think…

edit: when rendering both layers should still be enabled/visible in the 3d view

Hm, So everytime I want to render I have to make sure that the viewport I render from and the according render settings are matched?

Almost, but not really.

Just follow my steps from above. You have to move the objects to the layers I mentioned, by pressing ‘M’.

Both layer 1 and 2 are visible in 3dview when rendering, like so: http://marginal.org.uk/x-planescenery/hangar_tutorial/imgs/blender_layers.png

But in the render layers only layer 1 should be checked.
In example below all layers under ‘Layer’ are checked. You must check ONLY layer 1: