Patchwork 3D Enterprise 2021.1 X5

Using an Alternate Background Texture as an Environment Material

In order to reduce the resources used by the graphics card as well as the size of .kdr files, a high-dynamic range, average resolution (typically 1024×512 pixels) environment may be coupled with a low-dynamic range, high-resolution (4096×2048 pixels) texture instead of using a high-dynamic range, high-resolution environment.

This modification applies to an environmental material. The most common use of this material is to create in Shaper a Hemisphere primitive enveloping the whole scene (typically with a diameter of 5 to 10 meters), and applying the environment material on it in Matter.

To couple a high-dynamic range, average-resolution environment to a low-dynamic range, high-resolution texture, the following steps must be performed:

  1. In Matter, import an HDR or EXR file of reasonable resolution (1024×512 or 2048×1024) and apply it to the product.

  2. Open the Environment Properties Editor for this environment. The Background box indicates that no alternate background texture has been defined.

  3. Select a texture with a higher resolution in a low dynamic range format (JPG, PNG…) and couple it with the active environment by drag-and-drop onto the None button in the Alternative Background Map box. The texture is automatically applied to the environment material. The filename replaces the mention None.


The environment and the texture chosen must be in the same format, which means they must use the same projection (Longitude-Latitude, Angular or Vertical cross). In general, the most appropriate texture is a version of the environment on which a tone mapping is applied and used as an omnidirectional plate.

The Alternative Background Map has the following functions:

  • The button delete_texture_1.png is for deleting the active alternative background texture.

  • Clicking on the button tagged None or the name of the file defined as an alternative background texture opens the Matter sidebar's texture library and selects the texture associated with the background chosen.