Converting HDR Images to Spherical Maps

We all know that HDR Images produce superior reflections when used as environment maps.

However a lot of HDRIs are supplied in formats that are not specifically shaped to be optimal for spherical mapping.

They often are created using the popular probe method, or alternatively, you might have some that have been generated using the cross method.

You can see an example of such formats below.

Converting HDR Images to Spherical Maps

HDRI Cross Format

Converting HDR Images to Spherical Maps

HDRI Probe Format

Well luckily for us, Cinema4D comes with some tools to take these formats and convert them into the more usable spherical map.

If you go to the Render Menu and scroll down, you’ll see two entries.

Convert HDR Cross…
Convert HDR Probe…

Cinema4D Render Menu - Converting HDR Images to Spherical Maps

Cinema4D Render Menu

Well it is really as simple as selecting the command, then choosing the appropriate HDRI.

Cinema will then perform the conversion and resave the HDRI in the same directory.  The Filename will have the addition of _con to show you that this is the converted file.

The Converted HDRI - Converting HDR Images to Spherical Maps

The Converted HDRI

Happy HDRI-ing!

Converting HDR Images to Spherical Maps

Author: Tim


  1. imonfox
    imonfox On May 28, 2009 at 4:11 PM

    Thanks, your examples and tutorials are helpful and very nice made, so hope u continuos to make them. I saw also your works and they r great. Thanks

  2. Mark
    Mark On June 26, 2009 at 6:37 PM

    Wow some very useful info contained on this site
    Keep up the great work

  3. Sazarret
    Sazarret On March 4, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    You really made my day. Thanks!

  4. Laurel
    Laurel On June 29, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    HI Thanks for the info – I’m on R13 and the render menu, it does not show these two conversion methods (Convert HDR Cross… or Convert HDR Probe). I tried to use the sky obj and the sphere obj and loaded my image material. Everything was skewed, so it didn’t work.

    I want to create a background so my objects would appear more natural-ized.

    Where do I find these components to build a HDRI in R13?

  5. Steve
    Steve On July 4, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    you’ll find it in the picture viewer render menu in R13

  6. Jez
    Jez On June 11, 2015 at 3:14 AM

    I’m looking to do this as I have maps in a horizontal cross and I want them to be spherical, but……

    …. I use 3DS Max.

    Is there any other way you know how to do this ? Is there a third party converter ? Or maybe in Photoshop ?

    Many thanks.

  7. elielgvs
    elielgvs On December 29, 2018 at 1:20 AM

    Thank you so much, You blow my mind! haha

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