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List of sites with free HDRi

mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,741
edited November 2016 in Freebies

There are links to various HDRIs scattered all over the Iray threads...well, HDRIs aren't just for Iray. 3Delight, Luxrender, Cycles and Octane all can use them too. Some are in spherical mapping, most are equirectangular/latitudinal-longitudinal mappings...a few are in both, very few are cubic.

Wide quality range
The quality of these will vary greatly, many require a supplemental light source (usually in the location of the sun) to cast 'hard shadows'...most are non-comm only. (Non-comm = Non-commercial use only, but read the individual licenses on each site/item to be sure.)

http://www.hdrlabs.com/sibl/archive.html

Mid to High dynamic range
Most of these are mid to very high range, most will cast decent shadows. Many/most of these will cast 'hard' shadows without any additional light sources. Quality and license, noted; ones without comment are either no restrictions or unknown. Many of these sites also have pay versions that range from fairly cheap to rather expensive...but licensing is usually much more 'commercial' friendly for the paid versions and there are either higher range HDRs/higher res backplates with the paid ones.

http://www.aversis.be/hdri/ (monthly freebie, non-comm only) *
http://hdrmaps.com/freebies (several free ones, some are usable in commercial renders) *
http://vfxmill.com/vfxmill_freestuff.html
http://www.dylansisson.com/project/panoramas/ (non-comm) *
http://www.doschdesign.com/samples.php (possibly commercial use) *
http://www.hdr-sets.com/index.php/free-sets.html (non-comm)
http://www.hdri-hub.com/hdrishop/freesamples *
http://www.dutch360hdr.com/shop/ (varies...more than at the sIBL archive site) *
http://www.hdrmill.com/Freebies.htm (these are low to midrange) *
http://noemotionhdrs.net/
http://www.openfootage.net/?cat=212 (varies..quality and license...the pay for ones are very good..and pretty cheap. He also always has a render with the image that shows the shadows cast by the image) *
https://www.moofe.com/#/free (somewhat convoluted and restrictive Terms)
http://www.treddi.com/forum/files/category/2-textures-e-immagini-hdri/
http://www.hyperfocaldesign.com/free-hdri-sky/
http://gl.ict.usc.edu/Data/HighResProbes/ (of course, the 'granddaddy' of HDRI resources) *
http://www.pauldebevec.com/Probes/ (basically the same as above, but also cubic maps...and possibly lower resolution)
http://www.sachform.de/index.php/free-downloads
http://www.turbosquid.com/FullPreview/Index.cfm?ID=925039&seo=0 (may be more on Turbosquid...)
http://www.food4rhino.com/browse?searchterm=brianjames+hdr (mostly seem to be non-comm)
http://www.zwischendrin.com/en/browse/hdri (no sort function I could find, the free ones are scattered throughout the pages)
http://adaptivesamples.com/category/hdr-panos/ *
http://www.viz-people.com/portfolio/free-hdri-maps/ (non-comm and registration required)
http://www.sky-domes.com/?page_id=304
http://bocostudio.com/boco-pano/  (use in commercial renders allowed)
http://joostvanhoutte.com/hdris/ (pack of 26 images, most are able to be used commercially)
http://www.hdrishop.com/collections/free-hdris
https://hdrihaven.com/index.php
http://www.whitemagus3dmodels.com (use in commercial renders allowed, mostly large sky images)
http://giantcowfilms.com/2015/11/23/hdr-morning-sun-winter (some of these are listed as CC0 and the stops are listed: 20+)

 

Low to mid dynamic range

 

Some with very nice shadows, many spherical only
http://www.accustudio.com/exchange/hdri-p (
http://dativ.at/lightprobes/ (Non-comm) *
http://hdri.3dweave.com/library/
http://www.maximeroz.com/hdri-free-pack (this is interiors...)
http://www.unparent.com/photos_probes.html (Brycers may be familiar with these)
http://sith-kitten.deviantart.com/art/Iray-Skies-Volume-1-522179745 (There are 3 hdrs, some backplates and a set of sample renders.  All designed with Studio and Iray in mind.)

 


These are ones I know that are just low range, backdrop or skies only...
http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?24038-Free-high-res-skymaps-(Massive-07-update!) (no restrictions, just sky maps)
http://www.evermotion.org/tutorials/show/7928/free-hdri-cd-collection-from-evermotion (variable quality, mostly just skies) *
http://shtlab.blogspot.com/2009/08/hdri-panoramic-skies-for-free.html (usable for lighting, created in Vue)
https://www.hdripanorama.com/free-hdri-skies (low to mid, 'purchase' required)
http://www.cgskies.com/ (free ones are low to mid, high are for sale)
http://hdri-skies.com/ (4k sky images, commercial renders allowed)
http://texturify.com/ (a number of nice LDR panos, suitible for backdrops)
And these are nice for 'studio' shots...
http://zbyg.deviantart.com/art/HDRi-Pack-1-97402522 *
http://zbyg.deviantart.com/art/HDRi-Pack-2-103458406 *
http://zbyg.deviantart.com/art/HDRi-Pack-3-112847728 *
http://jerrycrow.deviantart.com/art/Redspec-TGX-Official-HDR-Pack-01-453173341 *
http://zbyg.deviantart.com/art/Free-HDR-For-Studio-Render-157557355 (hi-res) *
http://www.mrbluesummers.com/category/downloads/downloads-textures-materials

These have been made by steveathome, specifically for Studio and Iray (work in Luxrender and 3Delight, too...don't have the Octane plugin, so I haven't tried any of them there)

Forum thread: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/58153/

01_sun15_clouds_4096 (15MB zip)
https://www.mediafire.com/?ltdpydcv11wvsls
01_sun15_clouds_8192 (54MB zip)
https://www.mediafire.com/?207a1qdr1kh6jsh

—————————————————————————

02_sun25_clouds_4096 (13MB zip)
https://www.mediafire.com/?iidwc2ei2yarbj8
02_sun25_clouds_8192 (47MB zip)
https://www.mediafire.com/?88d27gwt8gmr5ua

—————————————————————————

03_sun15_clouds_4096 (15MB zip)
https://www.mediafire.com/?4o7wbl7jgnekpxs
03_sun15_clouds_8192 (52MB zip)
https://www.mediafire.com/?3el24oxhjw6bam2

—————————————————————————

04_sun45_clouds_4096 (16MB zip)
https://www.mediafire.com/?x177ir18f02yo3t
04_sun45_clouds_8192 (56MB zip)
https://www.mediafire.com/?a08ljl6pj2qxa2b

—————————————————————————

A new set by valzheimer...

Forum thread: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/129346/free-rgb-hdri-soft-lights-for-iray-by-valzheimer#latest Lights: http://www.valzheimer.info/2016/11/va2016-rgb-hdri-soft-lights-for-daz.html (79MB)

* ones I've actually used and have had very good results with...the others I haven't used.

 

I thought about it. Since this is a freebie HDR thread, here's some utilities to go with the images.

HDRI creation tools.
http://www.hdrlabs.com/picturenaut/index.html
http://qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net/?page_id=2

Pano Tools
http://hugin.sourceforge.net/download/ (this is a panorama 'stitcher' to assemble nice 360 images)

Viewers
http://www.ceng.metu.edu.tr/~akyuz/bracket/bracket.html

Another source, sometimes even for full versions of some of the high end/price pay-for HDRis...magazines. The included disks/content downloads for many of the computer graphics magazines have offered HDRis at various times. Very often, these are in the high to very high dynamic range categories.

Tutorials

http://adaptivesamples.com/2013/11/17/how-to-create-your-own-hdr-environment-images/ (fairly good tutorial on creating HDR maps)

Tweaking in Photoshop: http://hdrmaps.com/blog/tweaking-hdri-in-photoshop/ (thanks Arnold)

HDRI Setup in Modo: http://www.hdrishop.com/pages/tutorials (basics are the same for any renderer)

How to Create a Custom Studio HDR Map: http://cgalter.com/custom-studio-hdr/ (As posted by Laurie in this thread http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/127241/hdr-fun#latest)

And I'm sure I'm missing some...

Post edited by mjc1016 on
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Comments

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,741
    edited December 1969

    reserved for expansion

  • SixDsSixDs Posts: 1,014
    edited December 1969

    Thanks Mjc. Its always nice when someone takes the time and makes the effort to pull together information scattered about and present it in one organized and consolidated fashion. Excellent job in doing so. Thank you once again.

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,741
    edited December 1969

    The scary thing...more than half those links came from places I bookmarked long ago and the rest came from threads on places like BlenderArtist that listed links to them. Only one or two came from the Iray threads...I know I posted several of them to some of those threads, but it's time to go a bit more 'comprehensive'...

    And Cho, can you maybe add this to the list of lists?

  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 24,945
    edited December 1969

    maybe :coolsmirk:

  • SickleYieldSickleYield Posts: 6,773
    edited December 1969

    Thank you for the list!

    I've found the ones from this site to be helpful, and they are licensed for commercial use::

    http://rift3d.com/11-free-hdr-sets-for-commercial-use/

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,741
    edited December 1969

    Those are the same ones as on the HDRI-hub link I already have...

  • mCasualmCasual Posts: 3,569
    edited June 2015

    it could be interesting to make a spherical renderer in daz studio
    you could place an ambient sphere here as the sun,
    a simplified tree there
    a floor

    then the script would automatically render 91 image tiles
    just a matter of animating a camera, 1 aim per frame, then render it as a series of images

    more like IBL, than real HDR but hey

    3delight can probably do it in hdr though

    personally i almost always use jpegs because i don't attempt photorealism very often

    though i noticed that the few times i used the HDR environments the results did look more pleasing


    and Thanks for the list !!! :)

    the ground and top-of-the-sky renders would ideally need some tapering effect

    floor.jpg
    512 x 512 - 217K
    Post edited by mCasual on
  • MilosGulanMilosGulan Posts: 1,261
    edited December 1969

    Thank You, though I am still not sure what is HDRI. That is like a background image, right? just been reading trough this http://akvis.com/en/hdrfactory-tutorial/howwork/high-dynamic-range.php and this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-dynamic-range_imaging

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,741
    edited December 1969

    Those are pretty decent descriptions of what an HDR image is...but not really what it is used for.

    Yes, it can just be a backdrop...but that's kind like using a Porsche to run down the corner market to pick up some milk and bread. Due to the fact that a good, high quality HDR image has all the necessary information about what the light was like when the image was taken, it can be used to reproduce that lighting when used with a renderer that understands how to do that. Basically, that means most current renderers. So, using one, especially if it has enough dynamic range, means that all the primary lighting of your scene is taken care of...and in some cases, that's all the lighting needed. Also with some renderers, this also means things like 'environmental' effects...'bounce' light, etc are all calculated from the information gathered from the image. In film work, they are often used to match CGI scenes/effects to the filmed parts of the scenes.

    Low to mid range images can provide 'basic' lighting information, but often don't have enough to give accurate color rendition or shadows. So they will need some sort of supplemental lighting. The mid to high range (and there are some very high range images) will provide accurate color, shadows and if the right 'shaders' are used (or it's a built in function of the renderer) very accurate reflections.

    File size mostly doesn't matter...large low range images are just like small low range images, in the amount of lighting information that they can provide. But in general, a larger file size (not pixel resolution) has more information than a smaller file size. Actual image size (pixel) also doesn't matter much, unless the image is also doing backdrop duty. This can be both good and bad...but it is somewhat dependent on the renderer. In some renderers it is more efficient to use a small (pixel size) image for the lighting information and a large hi-res jpg (a low dynamic range format) for backdrop duties. For other renderers, using 1 large (pixel size) high range image for both lighting and backdrop duties is more efficient.

  • PendraiaPendraia Posts: 2,867
    edited December 1969

    Thanks this list will be useful when I start to get my head around Iray...

  • MilosGulanMilosGulan Posts: 1,261
    edited December 1969

    Thank You very much, now I understand much better.

  • ben98120000ben98120000 Posts: 366
    edited December 1969

    cgskies.com
    Each sky have a free non-commercial 3k x 1.5k jpg and 1000x500 hdr sample for download (350+ of them). So probably ok for light but not so much for background image (unless you use DOF).

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,741
    edited December 1969

    cgskies.com
    Each sky have a free non-commercial 3k x 1.5k jpg and 1000x500 hdr sample for download (350+ of them). So probably ok for light but not so much for background image (unless you use DOF).

    I'd forgotten about this site...thanks.

    I have a couple of the full skies from magazine disks/downloads.

  • RAMWolffRAMWolff Posts: 7,118
    edited December 1969

    Can you recommend any of these links for doing night time star shine shots?? All the HDR's I've used for day time just over light the scene and I have ONE HDR for star shine but it's still over lighting the scene. Seems odd, shouldn't so maybe it's my settings. Still trying to get a handle on this whole iRay thing. I need a night time set of settings to study is what I really need! lol

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,741
    edited December 1969

    RAMWolff said:
    Can you recommend any of these links for doing night time star shine shots?? All the HDR's I've used for day time just over light the scene and I have ONE HDR for star shine but it's still over lighting the scene. Seems odd, shouldn't so maybe it's my settings. Still trying to get a handle on this whole iRay thing. I need a night time set of settings to study is what I really need! lol

    I've found that there are very few good, free night/starscape HDRIs.

    Hdr-hub has a nice night time one...that's free, but it's a city scene. I think they have some pay for night ones, too...but I haven't looked at their paid products in a while.

  • RAMWolffRAMWolff Posts: 7,118
    edited December 1969

    Thanks. Heading over to take a look at the Hrd-hub!

  • mCasualmCasual Posts: 3,569
    edited December 1969

    RAMWolff said:
    Can you recommend any of these links for doing night time star shine shots?? All the HDR's I've used for day time just over light the scene and I have ONE HDR for star shine but it's still over lighting the scene. Seems odd, shouldn't so maybe it's my settings. Still trying to get a handle on this whole iRay thing. I need a night time set of settings to study is what I really need! lol

    note that there's a setting in IRay to reduce the intensity of the environment lighting, yesterday for my jpg-to-hdr environment i had to set it to 0.5 instead of the default 1.0

  • RAMWolffRAMWolff Posts: 7,118
    edited December 1969

    Thanks!

    So does DS do anything with the ibl files that come in these zips or just forget them??

  • vwranglervwrangler Posts: 2,307
    edited June 2015

    RAMWolff said:
    Thanks. Heading over to take a look at the Hrd-hub!

    A question: what do you have, and what do you need it to do?

    What I've done for night images in a few -- only one that's been posted, and in that one, the window reflection is so strong that you can't see the backdrop anyway -- is that I use the HDR/EXR/sIBL as the environment map, set the intensity, and then if it has one, use the backplate for the environment backdrop. (Window menu -} Panes } Environment. I docked that sucker underneath the render settings tab, myself, because otherwise I forget it exists.) Change dropdown at the top of the pane from None to Backdrop. Slot image into the channel that appears.

    Depending on what comes with the HDR that you use for lighting, it may have either a separate backplate or some other type of image that you can slot into the backdrop channel. That will give you the appearance you need without trying to force issues with the environment dome itself. HDR-Hub has one sIBL and one HDR night scene, different citty scenes, both of which (I *think*) include backplates. Neither of the environment dome images resolves well initially on the drawn dome; you have to fiddle with settings, whereas the backplates, for the most part, just work.

    Skydome images and images designed to be backplates are NOT HDR images, so they're less likely to make Iray choke on the image size. (with the possible exception of TIFs, if they're uncompressed. Most TIFs you'll come across will have LZW or other compression applied, though.)

    For some night skies, I've used the TIFs that came with the original BWC Skies by Sedor. There's one with stars and one without. I've also used, as mentioned, the backplates from the two HDR-Hub night scenes, although I'm not especially fond of them. Depending on what they are and their resolution, skydome images can work pretty well for environment backdrops, without doing the other fiddling you have to do to get skydomes and some environment images to show up otherwise.

    Hope this helps.

    Post edited by vwrangler on
  • RAMWolffRAMWolff Posts: 7,118
    edited December 1969

    OK.. now... in English please?? LOL I think I understand but keep in mind I'm a total newb for this stuff so hdr, ibl and backplate stuff is pretty alien to me right now.... not as much as it was a couple of weeks ago but still pretty much so. The zip I did download does indeed come with backplates. It's some night city scene set.

    So does DS make use of the ibl files or do I just ignore those in the zip file?

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,741
    edited December 1969

    The ibl is just a 'settings' file...no, DS doesn't use it. You have to do the settings the old-fashioned way, by hand.

    Backplate---typically one of the jpgs, usually labeled as such. There's also usually 2 hdr files in the sIBL zips. One is an 'environment'...it's a lower resolution/size, often blurred for lighting use only. The other is a higher res image and is often labeled 'ref'...that one is useful for both lighting and reflections...and if you want 1 image to 'do it all', and aren't need a detailed backdrop...it will work for that, too.

  • vwranglervwrangler Posts: 2,307
    edited December 1969

    mjc1016 said:
    The ibl is just a 'settings' file...no, DS doesn't use it. You have to do the settings the old-fashioned way, by hand.

    Backplate---typically one of the jpgs, usually labeled as such. There's also usually 2 hdr files in the sIBL zips. One is an 'environment'...it's a lower resolution/size, often blurred for lighting use only. The other is a higher res image and is often labeled 'ref'...that one is useful for both lighting and reflections...and if you want 1 image to 'do it all', and aren't need a detailed backdrop...it will work for that, too.

    Huh. Thank you; I didn't know about the REF HDR files myself. The night scenes at HDR-Hub include REF HDR files, it turns out; I just hadn't tried them. The detail is actually a bit ... extreme and close-up, though.

  • RAMWolffRAMWolff Posts: 7,118
    edited December 1969

    OK. Good to know, thanks so much for the info. Thanks for the edjumicatjun! ;-)~

  • takezo_3001takezo_3001 Posts: 342
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for this list you beautiful, beautiful grinch, you! d-(^-^)-b

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,741
    edited August 2015

    Updating the main list may be a problem for a while.

    Until then, here is a new item I'm adding;

    Viewers

    http://www.irfanview.com/ (This is a general image viewer that supports many formats, including HDR and EXR...)

    http://www.xnview.com/en/xnviewmp/

    Post edited by mjc1016 on
  • Rae134Rae134 Posts: 26

    Anyone know of any Underwater HDRi's?

    I know Dosch (not sure if thats how its spelt) has some but I don't have $99 to spend :D (and my luck it would be US $ which would work out to be way more!).

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,741
    edited July 2015

    I don't know of any other than the Dosch ones (which, if you've looked, aren't cheap...).

    This site has some nice underwater panos, but they aren't HDRis usable for lighting, as they are.

    http://catlinseaviewsurvey.zenfolio.com/masterfolder_safe  (not sure if they are usable commercially, but they do say if you use an image, it must be credited to them)

     

    Post edited by mjc1016 on
  • Rae134Rae134 Posts: 26

    Thanks mjc1016. yeah, would love those Dosch one but way out of my price range at the moment. :D

    I'll take a look at those panos but was really wanting it as a light source. :)

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,741

    Yeah...what I dug up was a lot of referrences to the Dosch ones, how difficult it is/would be to shoot some under water and 'just render some out in Vue or Terragen'. 

    The Vue/Terragen option is probably the best bet, outside of the Dosch ones...but if you don't have either program, then it's not really.  Blender may be able to render out HDRIs, but it's 'scene' set up is a lot more complicated and involved than doing the same thing in a program dedicated to that type of work.  Bryce isn't really an option, though it could do the scenery part.  There aren't really any free/OpenSource alternatives to Vue or Terragen (at least feature/maturity levels).   And technically, while you could 'paint' one in something like Photoshop, it would, without a lot of time and effort, look, painted.

     

     

  • Rae134Rae134 Posts: 26

    I'm just learning Daz so I really don't want to learn anything else at the moment :D

    I was really just wanting it for lighting first and backplate secondary. :)

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