Plans for IBL

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  • Just to be clear, hdri does contribute to 'fill lighting' They do not make hard shadows. However, that is not a requirement for hdri to be useful. The biggest thing that hdri does is provide convenient believable fill lighting. Direct lighting (for exteriors anyway) can be handled very believably through non hdri light sources.

    What enscape also provides for is to automatically position their sun (non hdri light source) to match the 'sun' in the hdri.

    So your high res hdri is only needed for crisp backgrounds, as for lighting they are downsampling it. So if you are going to replace your background anyway, definitely reduce the size of your hdri.

    Ideally, Enscape would allow us to specify separate lighting (low res hdr) and background (high res ldr) images.

  • Enscape uses the HDRI environment for lighting, similar to other rendering tools. There are two reasons why HDRI backgrounds in Enscape do not cast sharp shadows than in other tools.

    1. We limit the contrast range. The sun spot has a SUPER high brightness on a very small area in the HDRI skybox. This would create noise in our lighting, that's we we usually clip that and use our separate sunlight in addition to it. You can however disable our sunlight by turning down the sunbrightness to zero.
    2. Calculating the illumination from the HDRI introduces some "blur" in Enscape, related to real time contraints. We work on reducing that, but right now, it will stop you from having super sharp shadows caused by HDRI. Beside this blur, the lighting from HDRI is accurate.