How to fix the HDRI/Sun Problem

Update: This tutorial now covers all VRay Versions.


A really quick tutorial for a really quick fix!

If you’ve ever run into the problem where you use a HDRI or a Dome Light, and end up with no proper sun rays or shadows?

Whether its exterior or interior you need that! unless you’re using an overcast sky, it’s crucial to have proper shadows, so your render looks more realistic.

As I’ve said before, this is a quick tutorial, so the render I’m using is not that artsy. Boo!

For VRay 2.0+

To get started, whether you’re using a Dome Light or a HDRI,this will apply for you.

fix HDRI shadow + Sun problem

Go to ‘Options’ – ‘Global Switches’ and enable ‘Default Light’.

fix HDRI shadow + Sun problem

Then head over to ‘Camera’ and make sure ‘Exposure’ is Disabled.

fix HDRI shadow + Sun problem

Finally go to the ‘Environment’ tab and turn on ‘Reflection’, then click ‘m’.

fix HDRI shadow + Sun problem

Use ‘TexSky’, choose ‘Sun 1’ in ‘Default Sky Options’, and enable ‘Sun’ + set the ‘Intensity’ to something as low as ‘0.03’.

For VRay 3.0 & VRay Next

You can refer to these links:

fix HDRI shadow + Sun problem
fix HDRI shadow + Sun problem


You might notice an increase in brightness, you can fix that through ‘Camera’, ‘Dome Light’ intensity, or ‘GI (Skylight)’ intensity.

Leave a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions, and I’ll reply ASAP.

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7 thoughts on “How to fix the HDRI/Sun Problem

  1. Yes I turned on the shadows and they are completely different from the final render! Only if I remove the background images and I use a TexSky, that’s ok and shadows come in


  2. In my steps I used a model with a dome light 🙈 try turning in the shadows in your model and see where the sun rays appear? If you need further help, message me on my facebook page; a chat would be easier to help solve your problems 🙂


  3. Hi, but in your steps I see the tab Background completely disabled?

    Anyway following these steps, (enabling Background), light seems to enter but goes only to the ceiling.

    There are not shadows as I expected 😦 And then when I check if the Sun1 is enabled, I found it always disable! why??


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