Easy HDRI – Load and test your HDRI images easily


Easy HRDI is a free Blender add-on that will help you to load and test yourHDRI images quickly, it’s just a matter of few clicks.

What’s new in the version 0.9.0



  • Preview all the HDRI images in a folder of your choice.
  • You have the ability to change the folder.
  • Cycle through the images.
  • Create your list of favorite folders.
  • World nodes setup .
  • Recursive file search.
  • Automatic projection (Mirror ball/Equirectangular)
  • And more…


  1. Extract the zip file.
  2. Open the user preferences, in the Add-ons tab press “Install from File” button, then locate “EasyHDRI.py” then hit enter or double click.
  3. The add-on has now been installed you can find it in the “3D View” category, to enable it check the box to the left of the add-on.
  4. In the 3d view toolshelf a new tab will appear named “Easy HDRI”.



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58 thoughts on “Easy HDRI – Load and test your HDRI images easily”

  1. Thank you very much! Really very useful.
    Just one request: Could the addon read the folders recursively?. For example I have a main folder called ‘HDRi’, but inside that folder I have my HDRi stored in other folders (for example by author or kind of environment)

    1. That is a good idea. I think it is easy to do with python, but i will investigate more how well it will work with the different OSs, then maybe add it as an option.

      1. Nice additions in the new version. Thank you!
        It would be great if you manage to make thumbnails are stored in the Blender USER folder. At least in Linux thumbnails disappear when you reboot the system, and addon needs generate thumbnails again. Also, the Search in sub-folders option is not remembered when you restart Blender. Thanks!

        1. There is no straightforward way to save the generated thumbnails externally, but i will try to implement my own solution, even though it’s slow (but better than nothing), the other issues are easier to solve.

    1. Another good idea 🙂
      I will add two parameters to control (sun/sky) strength.
      If you have a particular nodes setup that you recommend, please post it here.

  2. Nice addon, easy to use, if possible , hope can setting the preview folder path, you know, for the big hdri, generate the preview still some slowly, I think make the previews image at before, than load by the addon will much quickly, something like Asset Management, thanks 🙂

    1. The purpose of the add-on is to preview the HDRIs, you can put your low-res HDRIs in a folder for previewing, then use the high-res for the final render.
      If i find any good solution, i will implement it.
      Thank you for your feedback

      1. Maybe we can add the preview images into the sub-folders, like named JPEG, ICON, or Preview, and all this doing by myself or the addon automatic create when preview HDRI. than when a sub-folder named “JPEG” was detected by addon, the Addon will make it as the preview image, but load high-res HDRI, otherwise generate preview image into the sub-folder(JPEG), just idea, sorry my English.

  3. Great addon thanks!

    I also have a small request if possible. I use interior HDRIs to test materials but i blur them so they dont distract me from the material im working but i still want sharp reflections. So i use a trick which i learned from Cynicatpro which combines a high res and a low res hdri:
    minute 12:45

    Do you think something like this could be implemented in the addon?

    1. Adding a second Environment node isn’t possible for the moment, however, blurring the original image may do the trick.

  4. Thanck you for the addon , very useful, one think text Fx is very good , hope that he can support arabic font for the next version , thack you soo mutch

  5. Great addon! Only a few things I might add to it, if possible. One being having it display the filename of the currently active file right on the addon panel itself (perhaps right below the folder name?). And possibly some file management options such as perhaps copy/move/delete currently displayed file (to help manage the contents of the currently selected folder a bit since I haven’t been able to find a suitable standalone viewer that allows previewing my hdr images in this manner without crashing, even the thumbnail app SageThumbs which supports generating thumbnail images of hdr and exr images can’t seem to handle folders with a large number of hdr images in it), again if this is possible, I have no idea if it is or not within Blender. Otherwise I am very happy I stumbled upon this addon in a youtube video. Thank You!!!

    1. Hello Edwin,
      I’ve added the the name of the active file as you suggested, it’s in the version 0.9.1, Don’t forget to uninstall the previous version first.
      And for the second request, i’m sorry, i don’t like to mess with somebody’s files (something may go wrong) .


  6. HI thank you a lot for this nice addon very usefull to choice fastly the best rendering light environnement. I met a trouble with mesh i create under blender v2.76 when opening with current blender v2.78 one mesh created from blender v2.76 your addon doesn’t open folder , mean i need to go my self in node editor world to choose one environ. pic then all other option on left menu bar are working but obliged to select manually in node editor word environnement picture we want to use. For all new mesh create with blender v2.78 Easy hdri work fine . Just to report you those bug i met this trouble with both Easy Hdri V.0.9.0 & V0.9.1 . Many thanks for this usefull add-on. F

    1. Thanks Fred for the bug report.
      I have made a quick fix (0.9.2), please test it, and tell me if it works.
      I don’t recommend using it in Blender 2.76 though.

  7. Hi. How are you?. See if you find something useful in the World node ‘CarlG’ shared here:

    I like the ability to blur the backround, this does not really affect the lighting (my guess is that it would generate noise on objects if this would that way, but not sure). Anyway is something interesting the ability to have a blurred background at the scene.

  8. Hi mate,

    Thanks for the addon. I was wondering if there is any way you could add a fixed path to the user HDRI library maybe with 2 levels. Main folder then a sub folder. I know it’s currently using the recursive level method but I find it odd having to select the HDRI folder every time instead of having it there ready.

    I know you are not charging for this and I appreciated it already.

    1. Hi Luis,

      You can set any folder as favorite, this approach is better IMO because you may have a lot of HDRIs folders spread all over your computer.
      To reach your favorite folder is just 2 clicks instead of serching for it. You can see a demonstration in the first video of the post, starting at 01:15

      1. Hi,

        I didn’t notice that. Thanks for the tip.

        I see some others said about the pre-made preview images. I think that would be great as some HDRs take ages to load. Also, I think there is a slight problem when you hit reload as it loads the HDRI in the menu you are looking at or something as it changes the HDRI set in the scene? Not entirely sure how that works but I guess it should reload the folder items preview rather than the HDRI set in the current scene.

  9. It seems when clicking reload previews, the current loaded HDRI gets swapped by the first HDRI in the folder. Any ideas about that?

    1. Hi Luis,

      There is an option in the settings (Load Dynamically), you can disable it to change the current behavior, and the world background image could be loaded on demand using the operator “Load image”.
      See the first video in this post, starting at 03:26
      BTW, I have just fixed a bug, so you may download the new version 0.9.3

      1. It seems when having the load dynamically turned off I cannot add the HDRIs by clicking the load image button. Is that button for that? I guess it should so it just loads on demand?

        1. I think the problem is when loading a project and your addon shows the HDRI folder images and it looks like they are loaded but they are not. So after reloading a folder from favorites, it works as expected.

  10. Nice add-on, is there a way to save a world node group insted of just the HDRI, and dose it work with PNG images or just HDRIs?

    1. Unfortunately, it’s not possible, because generating the thumbnails is an internal Blender process and the add-on just make use of it.

    1. Glad it’s useful for you! I use it in almost all my work as well 🙂
      In blender 2.8 there is a new shading option that does almost the same thing as this add-on, but if there is still need for this add-on i will gladly port it to Blender 2.8.

      1. I am unable to find that new shading option in 2.8 :(. There is a custom HDRI for lookdev in settings, but i think that is for lookdev shading only.

        Anyway, I would also be very happy if you can port the addon to 2.8. It was very convenient and fast for me in 2.79.

      2. Yes this new option in 2.8 is only for look dev not build the world lighting. I’m a trainer and i recommend all my students to use your addon. Now we feel that we miss something as it was a huge time saver.
        So please if you could do it, it would help a lot.
        Happy blending!

  11. Hey everyone,

    Actually i have updated this add-on, but i was waiting for this bug in 2.8 to be fixed.
    But they say that they couldn’t reproduce it.
    I guess i will publish it anyway but be aware that the Hue Saturation node is not working properly with Eevee.
    It will be available for download very soon.


  12. Thanks for this very useful addon. One small fix I’d like to suggest: In the EasyHDRI.py file, there’s this function get_hdris, which uses os.walk. Unfortunately, os.walk has no guarantees on the order in which the files are traversed. As a result, I can see that the HDRIs listed in the Easy HDRI UI are often shown in more or less random order, and new HDRIs added to my HDRI collection could end up anywhere in the Easy HDRI UI. But this problem is easy to fix: Instead of

    for root, dirs, files in os.walk(dir):
    for fn in files:

    just write:

    for root, dirs, files in os.walk(dir):
    for fn in sorted(files):

  13. … oh, and the directories should be sorted too:

    for root, dirs, files in os.walk(dir, True):
    for fn in sorted(files):

    Note that sorting the directories requires a True argument in os.walk.

    1. Thats great Winnie!

      If added some additional items like blur strength. It also now reloads the correct image when updateing, as well as when relink the fav folder. Prior it would reset to the first image. Ive also added a search option and show/hide labels. Also added a preview button

  14. I made some small adjustments and added some features. I made the style like 2.8 so sub settings are subpanels. Ive also added an option to search and filter aswell as set blur strength

    Do you have a github so i can do a pull and you can check if you like it?

    Not sure what they state about 2.9 not working. Works fine for me in 2.91

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