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Environment Sphere Instructions

This page will show you how to get the most out of your environment sphere.
 
I'll show you step by step what to do to set up a virtualized environment around your Poser scene.
 

Quick Start - Show Me Now!

Here's the quick start summary, for those of you that can't stand to read a lot of instructions. This should take you less than 2 minutes. Ready? 
 

Load the Prop - Basic Double Gradient

Unzip the EnvSphere.zip file to one of your runtimes, or make a new runtime for this file alone. If you make a new runtime, remember to add it to Poser.

 

Your camera will usually not show much environment because you usually focus on figures. You need to make a wide-angle camera to see a lot of the environment. You must decrease your camera focal length. Try 30mm, 20mm, or for plenty of coverage, 15 mm. I'll use 15 mm.  
 
In Poser props, navigate to the EnvSphere folder and add an EnvSphere object to your scene.
I suggest you add a figure as well, so you don't get disoriented. We're going to be spinning the camera around a lot. Hide the ground. (Press Ctrl-G)
 
Go into the Material room.
In Poser Materials, navigate to the EnvSphere folder. You should see several environment sphere icons. The default material is the EnvPanoramic material. When you first load an EnvSphere, it has this material on it.
 
Load the EnvDoubleGradient material onto your environment sphere instead.
 (Note: the preview may look different - Poser doesn't preview serious shaders correctly.)
Render. Your lights won't matter - the environment sphere is self-lit. You should see two gradients like this.
 
The lower half of the sphere is a gradient from black to gray. The upper half is from gray to sky blue. This is a procedural shader. What that means is it is following a procedure. It is not based on an image.
 
You can change the color settings in the material room, or replace the shading procedure altogether.
 
To use images, we will load other shaders.
 
 
 

Using an Image (LDR or HDR, but HDR in Poser 7 only)

Now let's try a panoramic image. Poser 7 comes with an HDR image for a pond. Look in Runtime\Textures\HDRVFX and see if you have HDRVFX_pond_01_v_002.hdr.  Of course you can try other images.
Go into the material room.
Select the Environment Sphere.
In Poser Materials, navigate to the EnvSphere folder. You should see several environment sphere icons. The default material is the EnvPanoramic material. When you first load an EnvSphere, it has this material on it. If you have done one of the gradient materials, you'll need to reload the EnvPanoramic material onto your environment sphere.
 
If you want to use special effects, load the EnvPanoramicEffect material instead.
 
 
 
Now you load your image into the shader. You can't load an image into complex shaders in Simple mode.  If you are in Simple mode, switch to Advanced mode.

In Advanced mode, load a panoramic image in the "Panoramic Image" node.

You can load HDR images or LDR images.

Here I have chosen an HDR image - the pond image that comes with Poser 7.

 

Above the Panoramic Image node is a node called Gamma In. You must tell the shader what the gamma is of the incoming image. Ordinary photos have Gamma In = 2.2 (usually) but HDR images have gamma = 1.0. So for HDR set Gamma In to 1.0.

 

Again:

 

HDR Image -> Gamma In = 1.0

LDR Image -> Gamma In = 2.2

When you set the Gamma In correctly, the Image preview (at right here) will still be weird, but the final preview should look normal.

 
Render
 
 
That was easy, right?
 
Go to my Environment Sphere Links and get more panoramic image. Remember, JPG images are LDR and require Gamma In = 2.2. HDR and EXR images are HDR and require Gamma In = 1.0. 
 
ADDENDUM FOR POSER PRO:
 
If you're using Poser Pro with render GC enabled, then set Gamma In = 1.0 and Gamma Out = 1.0. Poser will handle it and the shader does not need to.
 
 
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