Well this is a fast and easy tutorial for rendering cars with HDRI environments, it is more easy because you got the composition in a real environment and you do not have to edit a lo your final render and doesn’t have deal with the image in photoshop.

I am using like always one the Openfootage HDRI, you need to download the hires version because we will use the hdri for the environment, and if you download just the small version it will not look good.

Rendering Cars with HDRI as Lighting and Environment with Vray & 3ds Max

This is the HDRI file that i am going to use, you can download it from : Click Here Download HDRI


Open an scene with your car model and let’s load the hdri, for do that create a Vray Dome light set the multiplier to 1, click in use texture, turn on Full Spherical Dome, later make click in bitmap, search for your hdri and select the file, you will see a window like this one:


Click in Real Pixel (32 bpp) and click ok, now drag and drop the hdri from the light to a empty slot of the material editor, choose instance and the dialog, change the options instead of texture to Enviroment and change the mapping to Spherical:


Now add the same map to the environment in 3ds max, choose instance from the dialog:


If you do not have the car already in the scene it is time to add it, and after that add the vray physical camera.


Change some value of the vray camera, deactivate Vignetting and the color balance to Neutral.
Now let’s add a plane to cast shadow from the car, i have a 7x7m plane.


Now let’s create a matte material, this material will cast just the shadow from the car to the plane.
Now create a new vray material, click again in Vray Mtl and choose VrayMtlWrapper, click in Keep old material as sub material :


Now let’s make some change to the material wrapper, activate matte surface, turn on Shadows and Affect Alpha, and change Alpha Contribution to -1.0 and after that apply the material to the plane:


Now let’s setup a basic render for make some test, this is the render settings that i am going to use:


Click RENDER, and this is what i have:


If you see the render is pretty dark and i am having a transparent and dark plane in the scene, to remove this just deactivate Receive GI in the vraymtlwrapper options:


To have a more brighter render let’s make some changes to the vray camera, change the F-number to 3 and the Shutter speed to 100, check what we have:

If you see still it is a little bit dark, but it match very well with the enviroment and lighting, also it’s dark because my hdri have a cloudy sky, but we can improve this in photoshop with the levels.

Now to have a more high quality render, select your vray dome light and increase the subdivision to 40 and go to the render setup> Settings > Global subdivision multiplier and change the value from 1 to 3, increase the resolution of the final imagen and we are done!

Final Render