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Free HDRI with Proper Sun Brightness


Greg Zaal writes:

I've recently been working on a method of accurately shooting and stitching HDRIs that include the full brightness of the sun.

Most HDRIs out there (especially the free ones, but often ones you have to pay for too) don't accurately represent how bright the sun is, leaving you with indistinct shadows and low-contrast lighting. To solve this, I had to buy some fancy filters and create custom compositing noodles and scripts in Blender in order to do what professional paid software could not: create crazy high contrast HDRIs that match the real world.

One such HDRI is available here for free, along with a more in-depth explanation.


  1. Thanks.. bought the pack!..Dam!.. the download is 1 hour, and 1.8 gigabites.. how the heck do 5 pictures use that much space, anyway.. Quite looking forward to trying them

    • Sweet! Thanks Terry! It's pretty massive yeah, each HDRI is just over 16000x8000 pixels, so at 32 bits per channel (x3) per pixel, you end up with about 400 MB after lossless compression. If you'd prefer to download them one at a time just shoot me an email :)

  2. Cool, keep releasing all this good jizz for free! :)

    So technique behind these is that you are taking 3 .raw photos at once with 2 EV steps, or is there something more advanced? In my experience that was enought to get the full range of suns brightness and color.

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