Modern Cubemap Creation Workflow

I’ve been searching for hours now for some way to create a cubemap. Everything I have found either references out of date plugins for out of date versions of Photoshop, or overly complicated methods of taking a spherical HDRI light probe texture and rendering out 6 view textures in Blender or some other DCC app. Surely there’s a better workflow for using HDRI to light environments in UE4 by now. Since Unity 2017 I have been able to bring in a single spherical Lat-long texture map and use it to light a scene. Yet I can find no equivalent workflow for UE4.I was hoping that the HDRI Backdrop Actor plugin would finally solve this, but it still requires a cubemap. And I can’t find any efficient workflow for taking a single spherical map and importing it into UE4 as a cubemap.

Am I missing something or is there really no updated method for using HDRI in UE4? Are we really still required to make a DDS texture using an outdated nVidia plugin that hasn’t been updated for any version of Photoshop made in the last 5 years?

Can someone please kindly point me to what I am missing? There would be extra bonus points for any workflow that can be done using Mac OS instead of Windows…



There a couple different ways to do. I myself like using the dcc method. But the easiest way I have have been bringing your hdri lat long texture into Nuke or photoshop and converting it to a .hdr texture. Unreal is able to recognize lat long but only in that format. I have a massive library of lat long .exr files but if you want to use those as a sky box you are going to have to make a sky shader that converts them into the proper coordinate space. You can also create a simple material that displays your last long on a sphere and then use the spherical capture and a render to texture node to make a fast lower resolution Cuba’s map in engine.

So, the workflow is literally just bring your 32-bit .EXR format file into Photoshop and Save As to Radiance format. The resulting .HDR format file imports automatically as a cubemap, and after the required adjustments, as specified in the HDRI Backdrop Actor docs, works just fine. Thank you for the pointer. It’s bizarre I couldn’t find this information after literal hours of googling.

Perhaps it’s time to update the Cubemap Documentation to reflect this? The latest rev for that page is for 4.9…

Would that be a feature request on the Trello or a post to Answerhub?