Sky Mapping Problems

What is the Best Method to View Whole Sky?
I need to see sky in all directions from the horizon 90° to straight up 180°. In the past I have used a skydome to do this but I was wondering if this can also be done successfully by selecting the “world” icon and adding a sky. I have tried this too but I can never seem to get the sky image to properly map from the horizon to straight up. Can someone please tell me if this is possible and if so what settings are needed.

Sky Image using World Icon
These images show my attempt at adding a sky to the world icon. I selected the “world” icon and then the texture icon and added a sky image as a texture. The first image shows the camera pointing straight forward at 90°. Looks good. The second image shows the camera at 120°. Notice how the sky image seems to be moving with the camera. Why is this. When I rotate the camera up the sky and horizon shouldn’t move with the camera but it seems to be doing that. Any ideas why?

Faded Horizon
How do I fade the horizon so I don’t see a hard edge where the sky meets the ground plane. I tried using the “mist” to do this but I did this another way in the past without the mist and I can’t remember what it was.

AngMap - Used to wrap a standard hemisphere angular map around the scene in a dome. This can be used for image based lighting with Ambient Occlusion set to sky color. You’ll generally need a high dynamic range image (HDRI) angular map (the look like a weird spherical image).

The blender wiki says to use “Ang Mapping” if you want to map the image 360° from the horizon up. I have adjusted the scale and I still get the map to look distorted. What am I doing wrong?

Mapping to angular, you need an angular map of a sky for it to work, not a rectangular image.

The latest SVN builds already have equirectangular also for BI, cycles has it in the offical already, and it became somewhat of a standard for full 360° environments.

Thanksarexma, is there an Addon for this too or must I download a new build?

Also, do you know if equirectangular will be a standard option in the next blender trunk 2.62

It’s no addon, it’s directly in the codebase.

For Blender Internal:

You download an equirectangular environmental map. For instance from
You add an image texture as world texture.
Set the mapping to equirectangular
Disable Blend and enable Hori. (this maps the texture to the horizont)
In the World tab, enable Real World. (this makes the worldtexture “static” when you move the camera.

The SVN builds are builds from trunk, so yes, it will be in 2.62. It’s not the standard option, but now an additional one.

Thanks, I got it working. (BTW is not working :slight_smile: ) The only problem I see is being able to find “equirectangular” images. I did a search on the web and there aren’t many free ones. A couple of questions.

  1. Couldn’t you just use a fisheye lens in Blender to make your own “equirectangular” sky maps? I don’t see why you couldn’t place a glassy sphere in front of your camera and then just render it out.

  2. I tried it with a regular HDRI map (not “equirectangular”) but used the “equirectangular” setting in BLender and it looks pretty decent too, only there is a small hole in the very top of the sky and the sky image gets more pixellated as you look up. Is there a way to fix either of these problems in your opinion so you could use a regular HDRI map?

Are you thinking of another site?

Going to results in:
Error Message:
Your board has not yet been installed and configured. Please do so before attempting to browse it.

on the image where you ang mapped your background, it appears your camera is facing backwards

Modron, must be the sky image not mapping correctly because the camera is facing the correct direction. Got it working using a new build though. :slight_smile:

What are you talking about?

works just fine whistels innocent


Sorry I don’t see any “equirectangular environmental map’s” at only HDRI panorama’s or Panorama photo’s and Wow they are huge files. 22-28 mb for a sky photo. Hope it won’t cripple Blender.

The HDRI 360° Panorama photos are ALL equirectangular.
You use the low resolution one for IBL, high resolution ones are generating fireflies and artifacts, the high resolution ones are usually for background and reflection.

The 3 blobs in the images show how a diffuse, specular and textured object looks, lit by the environmental map.

25mb for a HQ HDRI is nothing.

Thanks Arexma. So not sure if I am using image based lighting but I need the sky map so when the camera rotates around and up the sky looks detailed and not pixellated. I think you’re saying to use the hi-res images for that situation. Correct?

This sky mapping approach worked for me as well. I’m glad because this type of info is hard to come by anywhere else but it seems. I bet I just saved a few hours of my life. :slight_smile: