HDRI Skylight Manager

Skylight Manager for Blender’s Eevee


Features

  • Interactively and intuitively place lights on a HDRI! No need to guess the coordinates!
  • Lights automatically adjust their own color and intensity to match the appropriate pixel.
  • You can rotate the HDRI at any time. The lights will rotate along with it.
  • Detect and move lights to the sun’s location with just one click

Narai Preview

One of the first things those coming from Blender’s Cycles are likely to be let down by, is the fact that HDRI environment maps cannot produce shadows in Eevee.

Conversely, those familiar with other real-time rendering software ⁠— such as Marmoset Toolbag⁠ — are probably disappointed to see that Eevee lacks a way to position directional lights in relation to the current HDRI environment.

This plugin aims to solve that. The Skylight Manager allows you to quickly set up HDRI Environment maps and quickly add “skylights”, which are simply Sun lights that automatically derive their positional, rotational, and color values from a controller and reference image.


Quick Start

Before beginning, it should be noted that the plugin relies fairly heavily on the term “Skylight” as a way to identify objects. Try avoid using that word when naming collections and objects.


  1. Select a HDRI texture
  2. Press “Initialize”. This will generate a HDRI environment, a reference image, and empties used to control the lights. (They’re a bit hard to see, by default, they start in the center of the image)
  3. You can position and scale the image as you want. Do not un-parent the control empties from the image. Do not delete the image or the controllers. By default, neither the empties or the reference image will appear when you render.
  4. Move the controllers wherever you want on the image. The angle, color, and brightness of the associated lamp will be adjusted automatically.
  5. You can easily access the properties of the lamps via the properties section of the Skylight Manager Panel.

Notes

  • Unlike in Marmoset Toolbag “Environment Brightness” does not affect “Skylight Brightness”.
  • Skylight distance controls the distance of the skylights from the world origin. Essentially it controls the radius of the skysphere. Unlike in Marmoset Toolbag, the distance and positioning of the lights from the objects it illuminates matters.
  • The number of lights is soft-capped at 5. You can go above that by manually inputting a number.
  • The environment can currently only be rotated on the X and Z axes.
  • If you get issues where a skylight refuses to update, try moving the reference image. It’ll force the drivers to reset.

7 Likes

Please change the compression package from 7z to zip at least, so blender can recognize and install it.

1 Like

I’d like to try this- could you put it on BlenderMarket please?

1 Like

Done. Sorry about that. I normally install my addons manually so I forgot about the file extension. :flushed:

I can, but I’ll need to apply for creator status first, so not sure when I’ll actually be able to get it on there.

Version 1.1


  • Added a button to detect and move skylights to the sun’s location (defined as the brightest region in the image)
  • Fixed an error where the plugin was assigned the wrong version number.
1 Like

I bought the add on. One request I have is I would like the option of being able to work with an addon like Gaffer. Currently there is no HDR Preview when selecting the HDR which makes HDR selection a bit hit and miss. Gaffers HDR handling and preview is easy to work with.
Thanks

1 Like

Thanks a lot for your support!

I’m looking into compatibility with Gaffer now, and it should be possible though it’s more complicated than I hoped it’d be. I’ll see if I can get in done for the next update.

Thank you, No Rush on it, just an thought I had.
Thanks

Small update to fix an issue where the addon wasn’t working with 2.81

The addon is now available via Blender Market!