I completed a real world scale architectural (units = feet) that was exported to FBX and then imported into blender for rendering purposes. The model looked great and I needed to finally add an HDR image prior to rendering. My issue is the image looks HUGE compared to my 3D model which checking scale by creating a plane object representing the extents of my model and this looks good to the model but to the HDR image 2 things are easily noticed. 1. Trees and buildings in the image even off in the distance are bigger than my model. 2. my model floats above the ground of the image so even positioning the camera you can tell the model is floating and just doesn't look right.

I tried to scale and reposition but this just hoses the appearance of the image. Is there anyway to correct this and make my model appear on the ground of the image. I got the image from HDR Haven recommended in tutorials I have watched and with architectural models appears it is sitting on the image ground without any adjustment of the image or the model that is sitting at 0,0,0 location.

Other thing I noticed when zooming and panning is model is getting clipped which doesn't happen when image is removed.




  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Note that HDR is not the same as HDRi map. There are several problems outlined in the question, objects in the image appear too close and aligning 3d object to the background image while hiding the seam. Clipping of the model while zooming and panning is due to viewport camera clipping which is another question $\endgroup$
    – Mr Zak
    May 29, 2019 at 22:50

1 Answer 1


The HDRI is rendered at infinite distance. When trees appear too large then this is because the panorama was taken at a close distance to the trees. What you could do is either set the background to transparent and composite with one of the backplates provided with the HDRI (this allows some cheating with the scaling during compositing) or chose an HDRI with realistic dimension that depicts a place with enough free space to actually build a house. For example this one.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the reply. It's funny that is the one I am actually using and my large model looks dwarfed by the trees surrounding it. I turn it level with a near by "bush" and the bush is wider and taller than my house model. My model measures ~55'x44'x34' tall to roof peek. Again I know scale is correct because I draw a plane representing the property boundaries and model is very proportional in size. I can maybe deal with the trees but the floating in the air detracts from the realism! $\endgroup$
    – Rick
    May 29, 2019 at 20:53
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    $\begingroup$ @Rick The floating in the air is because HDRIs are just images intended to light the scene. That is why you need backplates for compositing and a shadow catcher for the floor so you can combine the two and make it look as if the house is standing on the ground. You can find tutorials about this topic on YouTube. $\endgroup$
    – Robert Gützkow
    May 29, 2019 at 20:57

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