Full HDRI Support

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  • So now that Enscape is starting to integrate some real-time raytracing aspects with exterior lighting. When can we see fully HDRI support or what development hurdles are there that are slowing the functionality?

    Would love to plug in a cloudy sky HDRI and get proper shadows.

  • It's actually a great question and without going into much detail HDRI maps have a lot of color data that can translate into lighting information when used in Render Engines. Enscape is currently just simulating/faking the light but the DDS is doing the bulk of the work by aligning the sun to the brightest pixel in the map. Then it appears to average the color of the maps and tints the image. In all cases, the light isn't accurate and makes it unappealing to use HDRIs in the first place. Currently, the Skybox is really nothing more than just a background. The dev team may/hopefully can speak more to the technical aspects but my hope is they will have full HDRI support soon.


    This image here is a comparison I made using VRay and Enscape. This comparison isn't which engine is better but illustrates what a render looks like when an HDRI is utilizing properly.
    In this study, I try to best match everything from the object camera location settings etc.

    The most noticeable difference is there is no quality GI bounce on the objects coming from the HDRI. Also in the #4 HDRI, the lighting is completely wrong. The cause is from a street lamp (behind the camera) is considered to be the brightest pixel therefore the sun is aligned to that location.

    The next noticeable difference is in the shadows in all cases minus #4 the shadows are very sharp. This can be slightly adjusted with the shadow setting in enscape however its the spread is very limited.

    I think the first step could be to incorporate the raytracing element in 3.2 into the Skybox maps. I've tested this and it's not present at the moment. Again my hope this is something Enscape is working towards as it is a major game-changer in how renders can be done. Time will tell but if there isn't a vote for this hopefully this post can be the first to drive the interest.

  • The darkness of the shadows in the Enscape renders is the biggest issue for me. Having true HRDI lighting would help my exterior renders so much. (And it's why I sometimes have to go back to V-Ray to render exterior renderings because the GI is just so much better.)

  • So now that Enscape is starting to integrate some real-time raytracing aspects with exterior lighting. When can we see fully HDRI support or what development hurdles are there that are slowing the functionality?

    Would love to plug in a cloudy sky HDRI and get proper shadows.

    I suspect that this won't be possible in real time for a while yet (although things are getting better all the time!), a skybox is so large you would need to be casting an insane amount of rays out to create contact shadows purely from an HDRI skybox.

    I was under the impression that most rendering packages separate out diffuse and direct light into atmosphere/skybox and a point light for the sun for this reason, even offline renders like V-ray by default (although they may let you change the sample count if you want to wait even longer for a ground truth render)



    I've just popped this scene together here, with a 32bit HDRI split 50/50 into 100% red and 100% green. You can see that the sphere is being illuminated by a differing colour on each side of it , which illustrates so there is true directional Diffuse light being provided by the HDRI.


    You can also see where the second light bounce is coming from the sphere and hitting the ground plane again, making it appear more saturated. You can also see the lower side of the sphere where the bounced light is coming from the ground plane and going onto the sphere, causing the same effect.

    (sphere and ground is 80% white material)


    I'm only using 1% sun brightness here (I typically use single digit values for the sun light)


  • When using HDRI or skybox in my renders, i also prefer to lower the sun brightness from 80 to 5-13 instead of sliding the overall HDRI brightness in Enscape. This lower the problem with harsh shadows en burned out images.
    Though i must agree, something feels a little off with the quality compared to V-ray and such.

    Nevertheless, it's allready a big step in how much progress Enscape is making and how we can have some kind of ray-tracing with the images.

  • When using HDRI or skybox in my renders, i also prefer to lower the sun brightness from 80 to 5-13 instead of sliding the overall HDRI brightness in Enscape. This lower the problem with harsh shadows en burned out images.
    Though i must agree, something feels a little off with the quality compared to V-ray and such.

    Nevertheless, it's allready a big step in how much progress Enscape is making and how we can have some kind of ray-tracing with the images.

    Yeah, it's a huge step up from what we had.

    What I'd like to see in future is perhaps a more expensive render mode for stills, where maybe Enscape can render some extra bounces for reflections or GI, I think D5 Render does around 5 if you export a still image.

    However all of these packages likely have entirely different technical underpinnings and some things might not be possible in one. Rendering tech is complicated :)

  • Yeah, it's a huge step up from what we had.

    What I'd like to see in future is perhaps a more expensive render mode for stills, where maybe Enscape can render some extra bounces for reflections or GI, I think D5 Render does around 5 if you export a still image.

    However all of these packages likely have entirely different technical underpinnings and some things might not be possible in one. Rendering tech is complicated :)

    Yes!

    An extra "i'd like an actual high quality render"-mode instead of just the plain upgraded still image real-time version would be HUGE.

    Maybe they could develop a second vieuwport or renderframe where you can just open still images and enscape just renders vieuws (like v-ray used to) and the quality is better.

    I understand this might be a workaround or a bit to complicated for what they are going for, still, i'd like it :)


    What i wanted for a while is more options like:

    - Export info images like: reflections, lights, refraction,diffuse,... etc

    - The option to make certain parts of a texture metalic/glowing ... using some alpha or map.