I create mousemade pixel perfection stuffs for the interwebs.

Published: 3 years ago

HDRI and Vray Sun for Lighting Interiors

I would like to show you how to lighting your interiors using HDRI, Vray sun and Vray Physical Camera, also i show you some material setups, and modeling videos, so you will have a nice base or improve your skills to create nice interiors.


My concept for this scene was thinking in high ceilings and big windows, and i want to show a brute render of the room without the furniture so you can have an idea of the place.

note: this is a draft render with lower quality settings


1.- The modeling stage was easy for almost all the object in the scenes, i did two videos showing how to model some objects of the scene, you can see it here:

modeling tutorial #1

modeling tutorial#2

here is a wire frame image:

2.- Materials and Textures, i use diffuse, bump and specular map for each material, i like to use blend map or mix map for to composite various textures in a shader, sometimes if the materials is more complex i use composite material, but this not the case, i resolved with the mix map, here are some of the shaders setups used in the scene:


And the wood flooring map for some people that was asking for the settings

3.- The lighting, like i said at the beginning of the tutorial i used vray sun and a vray dome light to use the hdri like environment, and to have more control of the lighting i used the vray physical camera:

- Vray sun settings:


-This is the HDRI that i used to lighting the scene:

- Vray dome light with the hdri settings  (you can download the hdri file from the OPENFOOTAGE page, here is the link to download)

- Vray physical camera settings:

- If you see the Sun coming in from the windows you can notice there is a tree shadow, i did this to have a more interesting lighting/shadow effect over the render, this make the render a little be more nice and not just a plain sun lighting over the scene.

- in this image you can see the position of the tree in relation to the sun:

- The two lamps in the scene, i used two photometric lights with the same settings, this is the setting of the photometric light:

4.-The render setup in this time was more lower because some people was asking why i use high render settings, so in this time you can have the same quality with lower render settings, here is the setup for the render:

5.- Post production: i rendered a ambient occlusion map, you can see this tutorial to learn how to create your ambient occlusion map, click here for to see the tutorial

- To add this map to your scene go to Adobe Photoshop, add the map over the layer of your final render and in the blending mode options select multiply and play with the opacity.

- I made some color correction with the Curve Editor in Adobe Photoshop, you can do this playing with the RGB Channel

- To bring some details more alive i played with the Smart Sharpen filter.

- The Glow effect was done duplicating the render layer and added a Gaussian Blur filter, i changed the blending mode to Color Dodge and changed the opacity to 30%  (do not use this with higher values of opacity because this can burn your images)

-And to finish with post-pro i added a Lens Correction filter to play with the Chromatic Aberration.

Also you can check this other tutorial with vray sun, with this other tut you can improve more your renderings click here to see it


Thanks for watch this tutorial, i hope that you like it and please let me know what do you think about it.…. .


  1. BleuLilo says:

    OMG… I can’t wait to practice this!! I got a lot to learn… but Is going to be better with your tutorials!! Thanks

  2. noir3d says:

    great tutorial thanks for sharing

  3. Marcos Bardaje says:

    nice tutorial and outcome thank you

  4. steve h says:

    Why would anybody use a HDR as environment if you allready have a sunlight in your scene. This totally doesn´t make sence. The only part of a Sky HDr that is true HDR is part where the sun is located. But that you allready have you covered by your Sun. Just take a gradient ramp instead and you have full control of colors. And If you need this with a higher dynamic range you just turn up the multiplier and every gradient turns into a HDR. sure it´s possible to do it this way, but it doesn´t really make sense at all !

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      Benefits from working with hdri: 1) bright things can be really bright, 2) dark things can be really dark, and 3) details can be seen in both.

      thanks for your input

    • Dave Buckley says:

      Reflections? Subtle differences in the colour of the light being cast into the room.

      I challenge you to light something solely with a HDRi then get the same colour variation with a gradient ramp.

      The need to use a sunlight with a HDRI is that you get much stronger shadows than that of just the lone HDR.

      It makes every bit of sense to me. Depends if your going for photorealism in which case you will need the HDR to get the small subtleties that we see but dont recognize everyday, i.e. variations in reflection, glossy highlights, colour. Or if you just want the run of the mill render that gives unrealistic renders (because the sky doesn’t behave like a gradient ramp) then use a gradient ramp :)

      • steve h says:

        That´s absolutely no problem. Let´s say you have a sunlight and a gradient. A basic gradient out of the box of course doesn´t give the desired effect. But if you turn up the RGB Multiplier to something like 10 depending on the intensity of the sun, the gradient turns into HDR and will give the same nice reflections as a HDR with the difference that you can precisely control the colors. A HDR is pretty much fixed, you´d have to color correct it in advance if you want to change it´s appereance. Give it a try, you´ll see it works pretty well. A guy posted a method a while ago on the vray forums. He used a direct light with a high multiplier of something like 20 and a environment with a high mulitplier, too. It´s no difference to the lighting of a Sunlight or HDR with the difference that you have control about any parameters like color, enviroment versus sun intensity and so on. Basically as soon as you have high mulitplied environments, sunlight or any lights, your scene automatically turns into HDR you don´t explicitly need a HDR image in the background.

    • Dave Buckley says:

      I should also add that HDR’s aren’t the be all and ell of CG these days though, still need to know how to balance lights/colours properly for times when HDR simply isn’t needed/warranted/accessible or practical

      • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

        about stronger shadows you can get that with the hdri but you have to use a lower value in the hdri gamma so you will have a more contrasted lighting, thanks Dave Buckley for your input

  5. Julio Martinez says:

    aleso thanks for this tutorial, some people wants to be heroes when commenting

  6. 3dlord says:

    amazing outcome and superb tut tnks

  7. Dmitriy says:

    sorry for my English. I’m from Ukraine. I want to say that the use of a high polygon scene of the tree a little too much. To obtain a light-shadow pattern on the wall you could use an ordinary plane placed behind the window and to apply the texture with an alpha mask. This immediately reduces the number of polygons, and speed up the rendering time. This is my personal opinion.

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      yeah you are right about that but this tree is not heavy, it is very optimized, but you are correct, but for me was more simple to add this tree :D, thanks for your input

  8. Proyecta-3d says:

    Muchas gracias por el tutorial, realmente muy interesante, voy a ponerlo en práctica, dime la gama que utilizas es por la de defecto del max ¡?, y como es el tiempo del render aumenta en usar un hdri ¡? y la combinación de ella, saludos y mil gracias nuevamente maestro.

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      Que bueno que te haya gustado el tutorial, utilizo gamma 2.2 in this link puedes ver la configuracion que utilizo para el gamma http://www.aleso3d.com/blog/?p=164, al usar hdri desde mi punto de vista no aumenta el render, iluminar con hdri es uno de los metodos mas simples y con mejor resultados que existe, saludos

  9. Mojito says:

    Congrats on this fantastic render. I am seeing a small detail which immediately tells me this is a render… you have light coming through underneath the window sill. Some photoshop work should fix that!

    Thanks for the tutorial!

  10. shopkeeper says:

    All your tutorials are really helpful but I think this is your best tutorial so far :)

    Could you please share some information about the wood floor material? It looks very realistic and I would love to see how you set it up. A screen shot of the materials settings would be very helpful.

    Thanks for all the help so far!

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      yeah i agree with you, this is my more detailed tutorial, i decided to start making more detailed tutorials, about wood floor of course i can upload the material setup, come back later today and you will see it :D

  11. prld says:

    Really great tutorial:) you should make one from scratch so also the modelling of the building :)

    and is that material shader from the 2012? im still on the old one so this is new for me:)

    Keep them coming :)

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      well i am planing to create tutorial from scratch, from concept and gathering references to the post-production, but will be video trainings, stay tuned you guys will love it.

      I use 3ds max 2011 :D

  12. prld says:

    Great:) or you should make your model for download <3 but keep it coming:D checking the site everyday for updates:D

  13. karaslee says:

    Great!!Wonder if i can do the practice with this scene! Nice tutorial!!

  14. max3dvi says:

    “this is a draft render with lower quality settings” can you post this settiungs for image 02
    thanks …..it is coming one of the best resource in internet

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      hey max3dvi thanks for your kind words, for the render settings for the draft render a the top, just change fixed sample for adaptive dmc, min subdvs: 2 max subdvs: 4

      use irradiance map with very low settings 50/20 for the subdvs, lighting cache 500, go to settings tab and change the global subdvs multiplier to 0.7 and that’s it.

  15. Mike says:

    Great tutorial aleso!

    Your v-ray setup seams really optimized for a fast render. But what’s the reason for using Fixed image sampling instead of DMC or Adaptive?

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      Thanks for your comment mike, fixed works better with blurry reflections (glossy reflections) than adaptive dmc, but using fixed will increase a little more the render time.

  16. shopkeeper says:

    Please post setting/screenshots for the wood floor material as per earlier request :)

  17. prld says:

    the scene haha:) no this is perfect. you are already sharing alot of tips and info:)


  18. prld says:

    can you maybe post your settings for the white wall? because when i try to do its comes out different:)


  19. prld says:

    hmmm:) didnt see that one coming^^ gonna try that then:) thanks!

  20. Miguelina Haan says:

    It is the small adjustments that make the most dramatic shift.

  21. cao quan says:

    please post 3dscenes model…Thanks 4 port..

  22. cao quan says:

    i’m fighting modelling scenes & render
    but it’s not effect as you
    Can you post print screen tutorial in photoshop.

  23. Alex says:

    Great and inspiring tutorial!

    I would love to see the image before the post-production, just so one can tell what has been achieved.

  24. liza says:


    This is a fantastic tutorial, but I had some problems with the ambient occlusion map. I rendered a vray camera view and it doesn’t line up with the mental ray occlusion map, even though it’s the same camera view… what is the problem?

    • liza says:

      Or I should say it does line up (if you position it correctly), but it’s a clipped view…

      • nachetz says:

        anyway you can use a vray dirt shader and aplyy it on override material, it has the same effect. Remember to set up the color mapping to linear 1.0-1.0-1.0

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      well this is weird, you need to check well because maybe you are missing something, try to merge the scene into a new file in 3ds max and render the ambient occlusion without changing nothing. regards

  25. nachetz says:

    Muchas gracias por el post!! es un tutorial muy interesante. A la hora de crear los shaders qué utilizas?? Shader FX o algo similar??

  26. nachetz says:

    ¿Podrias indicar qué versión de VRay utilizas? con la v.2.0 me salen las imágenes con muchisimo ruido usando tu setup (lo mismo me ocurre con los setups de Peter Guthrie para hdri’s)

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      yo utilizo vray 2.0, tienes que verificar las subdivisiones de tus luces, y de tus materiales, a lo mejor por eso es que te sale con mucho ruido, saludos.

  27. nithu says:

    Thank u very much sir for ur valuable tutorial..realy thank u..hope u will continue ur posting…

    http://www.brahma3d.blogspot.com this my blog plz coment on my work ,if u gt time..

  28. nachetz says:

    Gracias por responder, seguiré comprobando pero creo que se trata de algún bug de mi version de VRay. Congrats de nuevo por el material de la web, muy interesante, así como los dialogos que se establecen en los comentarios.

  29. nachetz says:

    Otra cuestion (sorry!!), renderizas en VRay VFB, no? al salvar la imagen estableces el gamma 1.0 (ya que previamente lo hemos aplicado tanto en el setup como en el rollout de vray) o salvas como 2.2 y ajustas en el post-procesado??

  30. hamid says:

    You are my legend man.I learn a lot of things from you.

  31. basem2b2 says:

    I’m new on this so I’ll make it quick . I just wanna ask you about the materials pictures you have divided the the sub materials on the left how .is it a blug-in or what?. thanks .

  32. Earl Grima says:

    Thank you for taking time to write down this post. It is been very useful. It could not have come at a far better time for me!

  33. KOKI says:

    Esos libros son de arch models????? por que siempre que veo renders…. los veo igualitos a todos esos libros hehehe sera?? gracias aleso por los tips de cada post !

    saludos desde lo mas recondito del universo Tinbojtu (fuera mosquitos!!) perdon es que hay demasiados aqui.

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      la verdad no sabria decirte, normalmente el 95% de los modelos en mis escenas son hechos por mi, algunas veces uso algunos de la libreria de mi trabajo no se si ellos lo compraron de archmodels

  34. Jose Hafter says:

    Sweeet, keep working

  35. Damián says:

    Aleso, para un studio render es útil usar imágenes hdri? y si es así, que tipo de imagen? de tipo interior o exterior?

  36. hediye says:

    I appreciate, cause I found exactly what I was looking for. You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  37. Kevin says:

    Awesome tut ! Thanks so much !

  38. Vegeta_DTX says:

    Great tutorial! It is so straightforward that I can follow it even though I don’t use 3Ds Max but actually Maya!
    However the problem is that in Maya Vray Physical Camera and HDRI won’t work together!? :(
    HDRI just won’t show up, its just empty black space, and as soon as I turn off “Treat as a Vray Physical Camera” option on the camera the HDRI shows up!

    Weird! :(
    Any help would be much appreciated!!

  39. Amazing tutorial!
    I did not realised that hdri can be used in interiors :)

  40. Mohamed Rizmy says:

    Thank you very much for the great tutorial,

    i did this, but after the render completes the image gets darken, but the render preview in 3D max is very clean,

  41. 3dzoff says:

    Keep it up with the good working

  42. neshat says:

    that was nice tutorial,but i could not find the hdri setting,of course in my scene i can not have the same result as yours.:(

  43. loveren says:

    awesome interior rendering… GJ…
    thanks for sharing ur tutor..
    and i have little question about using Vray ligth dome with HDRI…
    can you explain more about using vray light dome with HDRI…
    thanks for sharing ur knowled… :D

  44. Anh le says:

    thank u so much :D

  45. Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

    your welcome and thanks to you for taking time to comment :)

  1. [...] Go to the Tutorial>> #dd_ajax_float{ background:none repeat scroll 0 0 #ffffff; border:1px solid #565656; float:center; margin-left:-87px; margin-right:30px; margin-top:10px; position:absolute; z-index:9999; }jQuery(document).ready(function($){ var $postShare = $('#dd_ajax_float'); if($('.dd_content_wrap').length > 0){ var descripY = parseInt($('.dd_content_wrap').offset().top) – 20; var pullX = $postShare.css('margin-left'); $(window).scroll(function () { var scrollY = $(window).scrollTop(); var fixedShare = $postShare.css('position') == 'fixed'; if($('#dd_ajax_float').length > 0){ if ( scrollY > descripY && !fixedShare ) { $postShare.stop().css({ position: 'fixed', top: 16 }); } else if ( scrollY < descripY && fixedShare ) { $postShare.css({ position: 'absolute', top: descripY, marginLeft: pullX }); } } }); } }); jQuery(document).ready(function($) { if($(window).width()> 790){ $('#dd_ajax_float').show() }else{ $('#dd_ajax_float').hide() } $(window).resize(function() { if($(window).width()> 790){ $('#dd_ajax_float').show() }else{ $('#dd_ajax_float').hide() } }); }); ; Posted in : Autodesk 3ds Max, CG Tutorials, Lighting, Rendering Tags: 3ds Max Tutorial, Lighting, Materials, Modeling, Rendering, VRay, VRay Physical Camera, VRay Sun /* */ « Previous Entries [...]

  2. By Tools, Tipps & Tutos (2. Juli-Woche 2011) « on July 13, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    [...] Voxel Cone Tracing ° Production Sessions @ SIGGRAPH 2011 ° Esri kauft Procedural (CityEngine) ° Max Tuto : HDRI & Vray Sun Interiors ° Vue Tutos : geekatplay.com ° Project : White Out – Body in [...]

  3. By V-ray HDR and Sun for Lighting Interiors on July 13, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    [...] for lighing in conjunction with V-ray Sun and Sky in 3DS Max from aleso3d. Check out the post for V-ray HDRI and Sun for Lighting Interiors inside 3ds Max tutorial [...]

  4. By HDRI and Vray Sun for Lighting Interiors inside 3ds Max | murat yılmaz on July 25, 2011 at 8:33 am

    [...] HDRI and Vray Sun for Lighting Interiors inside 3ds Max | Aleso3D [...]

  5. By Les petits liens #1 | matt guetta on July 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    [...] Lighting de scene d’interieur par Aleso3D [...]

  6. [...] the render settings, nothing too fancy, the same as the last lighting tutorial, here is the [...]

  7. By Tips To Improve Your Renders | Aleso3D on August 19, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    [...] always try to use real physical system lighting like Daylight System and Vray Sun and Sky, HDRI, and always i use photometric lights with IES profiles, this helps the realism of scene because [...]

  8. [...] got some many emails asking me to offer for download the scene that i used for a previous Tutorial that i did some time ago, And now it is available for Download, more info [...]

  9. [...] 1.- Rendering Tutorial with HDRI [...]

  10. [...] HDRI Lighting [...]

  11. By Tips To Improve Your Renders | CGFrame on January 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    [...] always try to use real physical system lighting like Daylight System and Vray Sun and Sky, HDRI, and always i use photometric lights with IES profiles, this helps the realism of scene because [...]

  12. By 30 Architecture Visualization Tutorials on June 30, 2012 at 8:55 am

    [...] HDRI and Vray Sun Interiors [...]

Leave a Reply

Some HTML is OK
%d bloggers like this: