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Currently I'm doing outdoor lighting in Blender using HDRI. I'm not really new to HDRI lighting, I usually done this kind of work in V-Ray Sketchup and the render output is quite correct (at least the dark area is pretty dark as the HDRI image), I just need to adjust the intensity and units in the V-Ray Dome Light (and 0-ing the highlight burn in Sketchup), like this. enter image description here And now, in Blender, my lighting is not really great. The Env. Map is just using a spherical image set to Non-color, with such configuration of Color Management. Not all HDRI being used is showing such incorrectness, some day light HDRI may light up the scene really well, but still I need to adjust the white value of materials color. This is what it looks like. enter image description here

The looks in the photo viewer, blender texture editor, and the scene is just not right. The brightness seems shifted so much. The dark area of HDRI in photo viewer is blue-ish, but in the scene is very different, with no adjustment in the World node.

The HDRI is in HDR format, tried to convert it to EXR, but nothing changes. What should I do? What could possibly go wrong?

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You need to play with gamma node after the hdri, sometimes you'd need to split HDRIs to camera and not-camera visible ones and fine tune them there. Blender Cycles doesn't use HDRIs the same way as Corona or Vray.

Check out tutorial on HDRIs in Blender.

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