A proper sky and some proper environment lighting

One of the big things that’s been letting me down is my background. Until now, I’d been using a low-res, low dynamic range cube that I rendered out of Terragen a few years ago, and to make it not look like a painted backdrop I was running it through some fairly suspect code to push the brightness up on it, which was doing things like making any true white parts of the image infinitely bright, not to mention really drawing attention to the fact that I’d been fool enough to save it as a jpeg.

Vizpeople mainly sells cutout people for architectural visualisations, but offer some really good panoramic skies without too many near objects, so one quick panorama-support shader and some tweaking of the sun colour makes things a lot nicer.

House with an HDR sky
But that’s not all. Continue reading