When I discovered the use of HDRI to light a scene in Blender, I was blown away by the difference it made to my scenes. What I'd like to know is whether it is possible to use a video to light a scene in the same way. For example, if I had footage of a sunrise, could I use it to light my own scenes? I realise that the video would not have the same dynamic range, but it's the combination of light levels and colour that I would like to use to light a scene of a forest clearing. It's for an animated, projected backdrop for a theatrical play so the resulting video doesn't have to be be that photo-realistic.

I can't find anything in the Blender manual that would suggest it's possible, so I'm hoping somebody has found a way. Otherwise I'm going to have to come up with some way of making a realistic sunrise.

  • $\begingroup$ BTW the environment texture node also supports videos. So in case you have a 360° video recorded (or rendered), you could use this to light the scene. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 13:02
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, that's useful to know, gtzkw. Thanks for the tip. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 15, 2019 at 10:34

2 Answers 2


you can create a plane and give a material that has a emission shader and the color is plugged in to a image sequence.

Note: you might have to set the fourth drop down menu to movie, and make sure that you the the frames property on the image sequence.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your response. I just discovered that you could import a movie into Blender and create an image sequence from it. Basically it's the way Blender objects are inserted into real footage (VFX). So all I need to do is import my video, and add my scene objects in front of it and render the result. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 11:29
  • $\begingroup$ It will only work if your imagery is scene referred or your footage is log encoded. $\endgroup$
    – troy_s
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ Note that this works in Cycles only. (From my experience, Eevee will ignore such an emission setup as light.) $\endgroup$
    – isync
    Commented Apr 29, 2021 at 0:12

Actually, I got this to work in EEVEE as well by clicking on the World Properties tab, selecting the Viewport Display area, and clicking the dot to the right of the Color bar.


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