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I'm interested in architectural illustration and always find it hard to get a realistic outdoor lighting (shinny/cloudy). Can you provide settings/tutorials for that?

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For quick results you could setup an environment texture in the world properties. For this examples I used a free example from hdri-hub. Note that this only works for stills an animation would look weird.

You can also create your own panorama pictures (with limited quality) with a smartphone or tablet.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Why would an animation look weird? $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 22:34
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 Because it would depend on the environment map, when there are objects they don't have a plausible distance due to the 2D 'spheric photo' and wouldn't rotate as your scene would. $\endgroup$
    – stacker
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 22:56
  • $\begingroup$ If you had your own 3D environment I think it would be okay though (if the hdri was only used for the sky), and the lighting would be consistent (i.e. you could use the HDRI only for lighting and make the sky transparent/white/whatever instead) $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Commented Apr 18, 2014 at 6:46

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