Looking for Environments

If we could share links to free nices HDR Images. I am especially looking for sea water images for boat design renderings which is not easy to find. If you know of some i would appreciate if you let me know where to find it.

There are a few here: http://www.food4rhino.com/category/materials/environment?etx, though none seem apt for a boat scene…

It’s tough to photograph a spherical panorama on the ocean. The boat you’re on will take up a large portion of the image making only the upper half usable for lighting and reflection in another scene. I think this is why many you’ll find are artificially generated in whole or part. Google “Ocean HDRI” and you’ll get a bunch of options some of which are free. I’ve also found that HDRI from mountain tops can be convincing for marine scenes too. The water of the ocean is then a material effect on a plane (a noise bump map in a chrome material).


I did have a good image in 2011 after long time searching. I cant find it any more but thanks for the info, Now I understand why there are so few of the ocean hdrs…

Theese are the ones I had. Cant fint them any more :frowning:

I find such images by Googling ‘HDRI waterfront panoramic images’ Nice job on the boat reflection in your ground (water) plane.

Just did so and found this one.

@jodyc111 Thanks for the compliment. But i need spherical images not panoramic. Thanks Anyway


I know you are pretty committed to your craft - how about you buy yourself a tiny little inflatable dingy and float it out into Boston harbour?

  • Andy

Roy, can you use light probe images in your renders? Are you using Flamingo NXT?

How about a cube map image like this?

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@jodyc111 Yes I can use light probe. ATM I only have Neon running. I want to see what Cycles And FluidRay can offer. I dont have the funds to go big right now, overall I find all the good render engines to expensive… We will see. My images above are rendered with v-ray 4 Rhino

Hi jodyc111
That light probe image you have of the ocean scene looks great.
Do you know where I can find that image ?

Hi Roy,

That light probe was just something in my collection, but I don't remember where it came from. I uploaded the full size (1.57 MB) here the first time, did you download and try and use it?  I think it was made in a terrain modeling program called BRYCE and then rendered as the spherical light probe there. I'll see if I can figure out where it came from and let you know.

I think this link will give you a similar image only bigger.

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I just got a notice about using Iray for making backgrounds which could also be used as environments I think.

I have used many of the environments from this site


Hi Jodyc111
i found where those light probe images are at the following link

but they are all JPG file. I also note the ones you show here are also JPG files.
are you converting the JPG files to HDR format so you can use them in Flamingo NXT or preferred renderer?

Actually I use them in Octane as jpegs as I got them from the source you mentioned. Octane doesn’t care that they are just mere JPEGs. There is a image power slider in Octane that lets you crank up the effect from a JPEG almost as if they were HDRI but I would still prefer HDRI. I don’t use the Light probe format that much and don’t see many new ones available. I have tried making my own by photographing a silvered Christmas ornament but it is a lot of work without dedicated software for doing the compositing for true HDR and there are always more stuff available on the net. I would suggest you take a look at Octane. I was a Flamingo early adopter from the very beginning and used it for my work but it wasn’t until NxT was I really happy with the results. I’m sold on GPU rendering and have Octane, Keyshot, Thea, and others that I have left behind. Just starting to explore Thea. The big thing missing for me in Octane for Rhino was not being able to use Rhino clipping planes. Paul the guy you see here sometimes (the author of Octane for Rhino) ha really worked hard on it but there is something that he is trying out with the Rhino guys here but don’t think it ready yet.

I’m not sure what it took to make it work in Thea for Rhino but it does and I love it. Still trying to get used to how Thea uses both and/or GPU and CPU. I try and keep it all on the GPU (780 TI and really fast) and keep the heavy loads off my aging CPU (i7 2.9).

ok thanks for the info Jodyc111
I have not tried out octane but I will have a look.
Im currently use Nvidia Iray for rhino and getting better results early on than I got after years of using Flamingo NXT.
Iray uses GPU & CPU and you can select GPU or CPU only. it does however use HDR file formats to light a scene.
Have you Tried Iray ?

just had a look at the Thea render site, that product looks very good also. the clipping plane support looks handy as you suggest.
Iray for Rhino does not yet support Rhino clipping planes.

Yes I did but it seemed to put a far greater load on my system that Octane did. Maybe it also splits the rendering load between the GPU and the CPU and I hadn;t dug in enough to access those preps and take the CPU out of that workload. I bought the NV 780TI for its bandwidth and many processors and it is still one of the tops GPUs for Octane. The bandwidth in important for loading the scene into GPU memory fast. I think that the number of processors on these latest cards is in the thousands. Once the 1000 series NV cards get the proper drivers I think that my 780 Ti will be surpassed but I am very happy with it and would consider another for SLI but don’t think that would help in Octane as it may not support SLI.

We should get the McNeel guys to start a Graphic Card category for this sort of sharing and discussion. What do you think?

I’d say that you can use the Hardware category for that.