Importing an HDR Environment Image

HDR environment images provide lighting for models. You can load an HDR image onto an environmental sphere that contains the entire scene. The HDR image radiates light into the scene from all directions according to the RGB values of individual pixels in the HDR image.

High dynamic range images (HDR) can contain a greater contrast range and color depth than 2D images. HDR images use special formats, such as HDR and EXR that describe RGB colors with 32-bits per channel of data.

To import an HDR environment image:

  1. In the Palette, click the File Libraries tab.
  2. On the File Libraries tab, select Environments in the drop-down menu.
    The Environments library contains all HDR images in the SOLIDWORKS Visualize Content\Environments folder.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • Drag an HDR image from the Environments library into the 3D Viewport.
    • Double-click an environment icon in the Environment library.
    You can also load new HDR environment images by using the Palette toolbar, which is below the tabs in the Palette. On the Scenes tab, click Add and select New HDR Environment.
    The HDR image is applied to the environment sphere containing the project and provides light in the scene.
  4. In the Palette, click the Scenes tab.
    All environments that you have loaded into the project are listed.
  5. In the Environments tree, select an environment image and tune the HDR image by doing any of the following:
    • To adjust the Brightness to change the amount of light the image radiates into the scene, on the Advanced subtab, under Tone Mapping, modify Brightness, or on the General subtab, modify Brightness.
    • To adjust the Gamma to indirectly change the contrast of the environment image, on the Advanced subtab, under Tone Mapping, modify Gamma.
    • Adjust other parameters as necessary.