In this tutorial we will look at how to light a scene in Blender using Poliigon HDRs.
We will also explore the advantages of using a low resolution EXR to light the scene whilst using a high resolution JPG to provide the camera backdrop.
Within the world settings node editor add in a new environment texture node and load in the .exr file from the HDR. (For performance and memory usage reasons we suggest a 4K or below resolution.)
Connect a Texture Co-ordinate and mapping node to the environment texture so you can rotate it to the desired angel using the 'z rotation' value.
To use a high resolution backplate .jpg, bring in another Background shader node, with a new environment texture connected to it. This should also have it's own mapping node. In this texture node, load in the high resolution .jpg of the same HDR download. (We'd recommend 8 to 16K for this for a nice high resolution backdrop.)
Add in a Mix Shader and a Light Path node. Feed the original .exr into the first input of the mix shader and the .jpg backdrop into the second.
Connect the 'is Camera Ray' output of the Light Path node into the mix amount of the mix shader. This will mean that the camera will use the high resolution .jpg but all other rendering passes will use the lower resolution .exr.