Image Based Lighting

An IBL (Image Based Lighting) instance in your scene gives you the use of HDRI type environments for scene lighting. This can also be used as a background for your scene, or purely for lighting purposes.

An alternative is to use the built-in high dynamic range sun and sky system: Physical Sky.

For downloadable HDRI content, see additional content.

Physically Accurate lights in Iray for 3ds Max

Using HDR and EXR files

To achieve realistic lighting results from a Spherical environment, it is important to ensure that the chosen HDRI or IBL has a realistic dynamic range. For example, HDRIs of exteriors often do not show the sun as being sufficiently bright compared to the rest of the image. The sun (unobscured by cloud) should be of the order of 100,000 times brighter than the surrounding sky. If the sun is significantly fainter than this, the final image may be unrealistic. Typical results are an overly blue tint to the scene (due to the relatively stronger contribution from the sky), soft shadows, and a general lack of contrast.

Adding a light

3ds Max Create Button   Create Panel  ➤ 3ds Max Light Button Lights  ➤ 3ds Max Dropdown  Dropdown  ➤   IBL


Iray+ IBL parameters



dropdown menu gives option for Hemisphere or Spherical environments:


Iray+ Ground Parameters


✱  Note: Iray allows one Physical Sky or IBL environment to contribute to lighting at one time. However, you can add and keep as many inside the scene as you require. To choose the active environment when there is more than one in the scene, use the Active Environment setting in Settings.

Light Details

See Also:

Page Last Edited: