Easy Environment Lighting (Shader) & Five Environment Maps

by differentlink in Scripts and Addons

Loading the shader and an environment map:

  1. Enable Cycles.
  2. Press Shift+F1.
  3. Navigate to the “EasyEnvironmentLighting.blend”, open it and then open the folder “World”.
  4. Choose “EasyEnvironmentLighting_World”.
  5. Open the Node Editor and choose the world notes.
  6. Choose “EasyEnvironmentLighting_World”, again.
  7. Load an environment map ending in .jpg or .png.


Shader settings:

  1. Sun Level: This slider defines which areas are considered as “Sun”. Increase the value and more areas are affected by “Sun Brightness”.
  2. Sun Brightness: This slider increases the brightness of the sun and therefore increases the contrast of the environment map. Use it to make shadows smooth (low brightness) or sharp (high brightness).
  3. Ambient Brightness: This slider controls the brightness of everything except the sun.
  4. Colorize Strength: Controls how much the color of the environment map is affected by the colors defined below (Colorize, Colorize Shadows, Colorize Midtones, Colorize Highlights)
  5. Colorize: Choose a color to colorize the whole image.
  6. Colorize Shadows: Choose a color to colorize the shadows (overwrites Colorize).
  7. Colorize Midtones: Choose a color to colorize the midtones (overwrites Colorize).
  8. Colorize Highlights: Choose a color to colorize the highlights (overwrites Colorize).
  9. Saturation: Control the saturation of the environment map.
  10. Ground Blackout: This slider adds a black ground to the environment map in case only sky lighting is needed.


Creating Environment Maps with Photosphere (Android):

  1. Open the camera app.
  2. Choose Photosphere (or similar option).
  3. Set the desired resolution under options.
  4. Take photos.
  5. Wait for the app to create the environment map.
  6. Open the environment map in an image editing program like Photoshop, Krita or GIMP.
  7. Add a black fill layer with 5% opacity on top of the environment map.
  8. Use a black brush on the layer mask to retain the brightness of the sun (This tells the shader which part of the image is the “sun”).
  9. Post process the image and save it as a .jpeg or .png.
  10. Load the environment as explained above.