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HDRI lighting question

Question asked by John Reinhard on Dec 11, 2007
Latest reply on Dec 13, 2007 by John Reinhard
Basically the help for HDRI in the SW Help is to say that you can use hdr images.

So my first question is this. Is just the presence of a HDR image selected as the scene environment required to activate the HDRI based lighting or is there some other settings needed.

Secondly, after a quick web search on HDRI or HDRR I could not find a simple explanation of how MentalRay or other render engines actually calculated the light direction and other properties from the HDR image. Most of what I found had to deal with range of contrast and the clarity of really dark or really bright objects, but not the calculations of the light direction, etc. Do any of you have a link handy that could explain it? I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks.

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