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. $\endgroup$
    – Robert Gützkow
    Jul 12 '19 at 13:02
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, that's useful to know, gtzkw. Thanks for the tip. $\endgroup$ Jul 15 '19 at 10:34

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. $\endgroup$ Jul 12 '19 at 11:29
  • $\begingroup$ It will only work if your imagery is scene referred or your footage is log encoded. $\endgroup$
    – troy_s
    Jul 12 '19 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
    Apr 29 '21 at 0:12

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