3DS Max – HDRI Environment

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Creating a background environment in 3DS Max has become even simpler with new workflows introduced in 2021. Creating a HDRI backgroud involved going to your Material editor and finding the correct mapping which if you you had not used 3DS Max in while could be a bit of a head scratch.

When you create objects in Max you will get something like the below image. This has no lights and no background image or environment. Lets see what happens when we try the new environment workflow.

You can use the shortcut key “8” or select the rendering drop-down to access the environment panel.

In your environment panel you can select the environment maps button and it will open up the materials/map browser. Navigate to Maps – OSL – Environment and select HDRI Environment. This will allow you to browse for either Pre-Loaded HDRI maps that install with 3DS Max or to the location where you have saved any HDRI maps that you downloaded from somewhere like Poly Haven.

After selecting the HDRI, lets render the scene again to see the diference without doing anything.

You will notice on the sphere that the lighting is more widespread than the previous image. This is because you now have a light source being emanated from the HDRI image.

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