I'm creating an abandoned factory/warehouse building, and I've run into a lighting problem. I've searched a lot on Blender SE for a solution, but none of the questions I found helped. This question is very similar to mine, but the answer is not helpful at all for me, as in my case I have a very bright, direct light shining directly into the building.

For my world's sky, I'm using Background surface with an Environment Texture using an image. Here is the node setup for my world:

enter image description here

A lower-quality version of DSCF6016.JPG (the sky).

Here's a screenshot using Scene World, where the sky looks perfect, but there is absolutely no light inside the building, except where the sun hits the floor:

enter image description here

Turning up the strength for the scene world doesn't really do anything until the strength is extreme (>400), and even then it just turns the floor blue, and does nothing to the walls.

When I uncheck Scene World in the Shading dropdown, and adjust the settings, the interior lighting looks pretty good, but the sky is dull:

enter image description here

If I turn up the strength (where the cursor is), the sky looks better, but then the interior is too bright!

When I switch from using my image to using a sky texture, the building still isn't light.

Since the building is abandoned, there can't be any artificial light in there. Is there a simple way to get the sky like the first image, and the interior like the second one? I'm still getting used to Blender's fine points, so there may have been something obvious I missed, but I've been trying to solve this problem for hours, and I can't seem to get it right. I'm using Blender 3.0.1 on an Ubuntu 20.04. I can provide more screenshots/information if you need.

  • $\begingroup$ "Scene lights" and "scene world" toggle between your lighting (the lighting you have set up in the scene including lights and HDRI's), and the lighting and HDRI that is built in to blender's Material Preview scene preset. I would advise you to leave both boxes checked (while in rendered preview mode), so as not to confuse your lighting setup with built in lighting presets. Also, are you using Cycles or EEVEE? $\endgroup$ May 31, 2022 at 0:33
  • $\begingroup$ As @ChristopherBennett already asked, are you using Cycles or Eevee? For to light up the interior walls you need light bouncing off the floor, but there is no bounce light in Eevee. The other thing is, you're using a JPEG for the sky which has a very low dynamic range and therefore not much brightness. To properly light the scene you need an HDRI for the background. $\endgroup$ May 31, 2022 at 7:54
  • $\begingroup$ By the way, if you would take pictures with a real camera inside a dark warehouse (or almost every time you take pictures inside a room only lit by windows), the exposure is usually so high that when the walls are bright enough, the sky would be blown out overly bright and not look as the sky when you would take a picture outside. $\endgroup$ May 31, 2022 at 7:58
  • $\begingroup$ @ChristopherBennett I'm using Evee. $\endgroup$ May 31, 2022 at 12:44
  • $\begingroup$ EEVEE doesn't do "bounced lighting" by default like cycles does - this is why light coming through the roof cracks doesn't light up the (indirectly lit parts of the) room. To do this in EEVEE, you need to use an Irradiance Volume. See an answer I posted recently about it here - blender.stackexchange.com/a/264928/75504 $\endgroup$ May 31, 2022 at 12:58

1 Answer 1


Since the first part of your question is answered by a (somewhat) duplicate question (just using very different words), I will attempt to answer the second part of your Q (although putting two questions in one is technically discouraged here) so as to make it a valid question in it's own right (which is also likely a dupe, I just can't find a link at the moment).

If you want to separate the background (HDRI) image from it's lighting influence, you can use a node setup similar to what is pictured below in the World shader. I used black as an easy example, but you can just as easily use different colors, or even a second HDRI. The reverse works as well - if you want the light from the HDRI, but want to replace the image with something else, just reverse the order of the Mix Shader inputs:



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