HDRI doesn't work

i’m having trouble getting the HDRI map to light the scene.

my scene has a reflective sphere on a plane, no other light sources.

when i render everything is black except the top part of the sphere, which shows the reflection of the Grace Probe HDRI map that i’m using.

any tips? (i would have consulted the online documentation, but as with most snags i run into, the documentation for that particular feature seems to be nonexistent)

i’ve been following the biorust tutorial to the letter. is the tutorial incomplete or wrong? is there an exposure setting somewhere i should be using?

Can you post a .blend file of your scene? It’s hard to diagnose the problem, since there are many settings associated with HDRI or world textures.

http://www.meritcreative.com/misc/HDRI%20Test2.blend (right click, save as)

here is the file. note that the HDRI map is not included, but any HDRI map can be substituted in the world texture buttons.

i’d appreciate it if someone could take a look and see which settings are wrong. i believe i have followed the tutorials to the letter.

if you are not planning on commenting on the file please do not download it, as i don’t really have much bandwidth.



here is a render produced from the file. as you can see the scene itself is not receiving any illumination from the HDRI map, although it is showing up in the reflection in the metallic sphere.

hope someone can help because i’m going crazy here. :wink:

I had a look at it. The good news is, there are no problems with the hdri. The whole sphere is showing there, it’s just reflecting the plane that is beneath it. :stuck_out_tongue:

You can delete the plane or make it not so dark either by increasing the emitpower of the GI or by adding some lamps. :slight_smile:

One other thing I would recommend you do is, to go to the world settings, and in the map to panel, select hori instead of blend.

Actual lighting using a HDRI will only work with either ‘skydome’ or ‘full’ GI methods selected. However, the grace probe is one of the few that could do with a brightness boost. You can do that from Blender though. Best is to use the ‘full’ method, enable ‘cache’, set ‘GI pwr’ to around 10. Since there are small areas of brightness in the HDRI, you really need to use ‘best’ quality to get a reasonably smooth lighting, but even then can look rather blotchy.
None of the blender world settings are used at all (except for horizon color, but doesn’t matter in this case since it is replaced by the texture), so don’t matter.
btw, setting the subdiv level to 3 is not really necessary and actually will almost take yafray as much time to load the mesh as it takes to render it.

Bingo! You have GI “Quality” set to “None”.

Crank it up a few notches. You will get very grainy renders, and it will take quite a long time to render.

You can alternatively try “Full” method, with “Cache” enabled (found in “Yafray GI” tab). Then set “Exp” to 1.0 in the “Yafray” tab. That will speed up your render a lot.

Here’s my render, using the latter settings described above, and GI quality set to “best”:


wow! you guys are awesome!

many thanks.

i’ve got it working now - now at last i am free to experiment. i hadn’t realized that actually selecting a quality level was necessary. i thought ‘none’ would sort of be like ‘worst quality’, but would at least give a preview. oops.


hello again, i’m still testing HDRI but having problems as you can see from the attached image.

anyone out there with more experience who would know what is causing the splotchiness and how to get rid of it?

this scene is lit with the St. Peters probe but the Grace probe produces similar splotchiness, albeit darker splotches. i’m using ‘Best’ quality under the ‘Full’ method.


Try enabling “Photons” (button to the right of “Cache” in Yafray GI tab).

You can increase the photon “Count” value, if the default value isn’t enough.