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I used my Ricoh Theta S (360 camera) to take bracketed pictures of a scene, for the purpose of creating an HDRI. This is the result in photoshop (too large of a file to upload directly). Looking at this, It seems like I captured enough lighting data for the scene to understand how bright the sun is, therefore producing accurate shadows. I used the highest and lowest exposure values my camera would allow, with 10 different photos.

When I plug this into blender, the reflections and colors are accurate, but the shadows are way too weak. As you can see in this GIF, even when I adjust the strength of the environment texture it doesn't make the shadows any more defined. Compare the CG shadows to the shadow of the tripod to the left.

Does anyone have a solution for this? Any hacks or tricks to make the sun strong enough to produce accurate shadows without using a lower exposure value?

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  • $\begingroup$ @Master has posted pretty much what I was going to .. especially the 'what makes' link. To capture the maybe 22 stops between [Nearly unlit] -> [Direct view of a clear sun] would mean using strong ND filters to get to the dark end.. P.S.. take care of your eyes :) $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts Oct 11 at 7:10
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Here is a thread over on blender Artists, maybe this helps

https://blenderartists.org/t/how-to-setup-a-hdri-to-get-sharp-shadows/578712/24

or you can use this blogposts by Greg Zaal with a lot of helpful Information http://blog.gregzaal.com/2016/02/23/what-makes-good-hdri/

http://blog.gregzaal.com/2013/07/24/cif-2-hdr-lighting/

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