Friday, August 26th, 2016


Here’s a quick article on installing the completely free sIBL HDR application. This article mostly focuses on 3D Studio Max and Vray. The same steps may (more or less) apply to other 3D programs. In case you don’t know what sIBL is for, I’ve written a small article here under the Questions section of this website which is worth reading.

sIBL is divided into several different parts due to it being compatible with many different 3D applications. While confusing at first glance, there’s only a few pieces that you will need to install.


You only need this if you plan on creating your own sIBL sets or editing sIBL files. Otherwise, skip this.


This is the HDR/sIBL Browser which sends your files to your choice of 3D application.
This GUI may work for 3dsMax versions 2009 and under – I haven’t tested it for those versions, but there is an older, an alternate method for installing sIBL at the
bottom of this page.
For the latest version of sIBL, download the sIBL_GUI here on the right-hand side of this page and simply install it.

sIBL GUI download screenshot.

sIBL GUI download.

Connecting sIBL_GUI to your 3D program.

Now, you’ll need to tell sIBL which 3d program you would like to send your sIBL HDRs to.
At the bottom of the same sIBL_GUI page is a section called fileNice.
Select the application you want there. For this example, you’ll select 3ds Max, browse to the file you want and save.

sIBL_GUI startup script.

sIBL_GUI startup script.

Extract the file you just downloaded. In this example, the extracted file is called:
Move this file to the 3d Studio Max Startup Scripts directory. In this example it would be: \\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2010\Scripts\Startup\
Now your sIBL_GUI will properly “talk” with 3dsMax, thereby launching it.

Additional files within that section.

There are some additional files there under the “templates” section but you really don’t have to worry about this at all. It contains both archives and newer versions of the templates (Vray, Mental Ray, Scanline, etc.) within sIBL_GUI which tells the rendering application how to read the sIBL information. Occasionally, this section will post a newer beta version of a template that may contain some application-specific bug fixes. However, launching sIBL_GUI itself will also check to see if there are newer templates available. People that are interested in helping the community program may find this section useful.

Using sIBL with 3dsmax 2009 and under.

If you’re not using the latest 2010, you may have to use the previous sIBL loader that Dschaga had written. This doesn’t use the sIBL_GUI mentioned above. Instead it uses the sIBL 1.0 system and browser.

You can download the older sILB version here under the loader section.

You’ll want to extract the to your 3dsMax scripts directory. After doing that, one easy way to launch that file is to open up the script, select all the text in there, and drag it to an empty 3dsMax bar. Give it a name such as “sIBL.” Whenever you need to launch that browser, then just click that new button you just made.