How to set up HDRI environment?

Environment HDRI lighting tutorial:

To use an HDR bitmap as the environment for your scene:

Method 1 - 3ds Max Environment

• Make sure you have CoronaRenderer set as the render engine in Render Settings.

1. Open Environment and Effects menu. In 3ds Max press 8 or go to Rendering > Environment.... Environment and Effects menu will show up.

2. Open Slate Material Editor. If Editor is not in Slate mode, Select Slate Material Editor in Editor's Modes menu.

3. In the left side of Material Editor, under Maps > Corona drag-and-drop CoronaBitmap into the editor. A window for loading a bitmap will pop up.

Locate and Open (double click on) your HDRI. 

Press OK.

4. Make sure that in CoronaBitmap's parameters, under "Mapping" rollout, "Environment mode" dropdown is set to what corresponds to your HDRI's mapping (Spherical, Cross etc.). Most of the HDRIs have Spherical mapping, which is set by default.

5. Drag from CoronaBitmap's end into Environment Map's None slot. Make sure None slot is visible before doing this, as Material Editor will come over any other window while dragging. 

In popped up window pick Instance and press OK.

From now on, your HDR loaded in CoronaBitmap will be used both as the background for your Scene (maybe also for viewport) and to generate lighting.

Method 2 - Corona Environment

Alternatively, you can go to Render Setup > Scene > Scene Environment and under "Scene environment" switch from "Use 3ds max settings (Environment tab)" to "Single map". Then load your bitmap into Corona's environment slot. With this setup, the map in 3ds Max's environment slot will be ignored. There is no performance or quality difference between these two setups.

Environment Overrides

If you want to use HDR bitmaps as overrides, you can put them respectively in "Direct visibility override", "Reflections override" or "Refractions override".

Different maps in different override slots:

Result of using these overrides:

Per-material overrides

You can also use HDR bitmaps as reflection or refraction overrides for each material. To do this, go to your Corona material and load your HDR bitmap into the material's "Reflect BG override" or "Refract BG override".

Result of using different overrides for different objects:

See also: How do I align Corona Sun with my HDR background?