Blender 2.8 How to setup an hdri environment background

Here we have a simple scene in blender with
just a sphere and a camera that is pointing at that sphere. And when we go over to the rendered view up
here, and this is with cycles render. You’re going to notice that everything looks
grey and boring, and this is not what we want. So what we want to do is setup an hdri so
this sphere has some lighting and some reflections to play with. So what you’re going to do is go over to the
shading tab. Go from object to world. So this is now affecting the environment. We are going to delete this background node
so just click x. Then click shift a to add. Go to texture. Go to environment texture. So now we have an environment texture which
we are going to plug into the surface. And now all we need to do is select our hdr
file. So click open. For me I have one on the desktop so navigate
to wherever you have one. And then just double click. So now we have this hdri installed, but of
course we don’t see anything. It just kind of looks boring. That’s because we are not in the rendered
view. So just click rendered view. And it’s going to take a second. And notice that this is spherically wrapped. It’s not just like a plane. This wraps all the way around and we have
lighting and reflections on our sphere. And make sure this is set to equirectangular
if it isn’t. But it should be by default. So just to really stress the point, what I’m
going to do is I’m going to take this sphere. I’m going to object. And then I’m just going to manipulate this
material so we can see more reflections. So we want to make it really metallic and
we want to make it really shiny. Drop the roughness. And there you go. Now we have this metal marble or whatever
you want to call it. And you can really see these reflections which
are all being wrapped correctly. And then if we go back over to world, of course
we can always just replace this image with any hdri and then it will always setup like
this. And notice that if we go back to layout. I’m going to enable our camera so we are looking
this way. And again we have our hdri applied. And hit f12 for render. It’s going to take a second since it’s cycles. But notice that this render pretty much includes
our reflections and then it also includes our background over here. And of course if you want this background
to look less low-res, you need a very high res hdri because it’s wrapping around a giant
sphere. So you need it to have a very high base resolution. We can just close that up. But that is how you setup hdri lighting in
blender. Hope this helped.

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