Is it possible to use an HDRI with the Workbench render engine? I tried but it doesn’t seem to work.
Do you mean for background only , or for lighting your scene ?
Either case don’t work but for background you can map the texture to a sphere and that should work.
To light/shade objects you must stick to studiolights or matcaps , each of which can be a custom one.
Thank you I did mean for both. So it will work for the background but not lighting if I map it to a sphere?
yes exactly !
You can fake the lighting by having the HDRI as a matcap, it will act as a glossy reflection, and you can make a blurred one to get a diffuse effect.
It’s quite a simple and limited approach as you won’t get variations depending on materials, in some case it can work. But anyway, taking that road I would use Eevee so shaders will react to light. Workbench is more about stylized rendering , what do you need especially from workbench that you can’t have with eevee ?
Specifically I did like the outline that workbench gives each object. I am going for a stylized “sketchup” look for an industrial animation. I did see a recent thread where one user combined EEVEE & workbench renders in the compositer and this carried the object outline over along with EEVEE reflections. it was a render of an astronaut.
This gives me things to think about.
Here is the slight stylized look I am going for:
Ok ! you may work around in some ways using a matcap…
Or as you pointed out, mixing eevee and workbench and take the best of both in compositing.
It’s a bit more to manage , and you have to export several pass for each shots, but it sound hard to get everything in one go with only one engine.
I haven’t messed with it much myself, but you may be able to achieve something similar if you use Freestyle.
There is an addon that is focused on stuff like this but I can’t remember the name right now.