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Environment maps in Boris RED

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Daniel Skrobowski
Environment maps in Boris RED
on Nov 20, 2012 at 6:38:17 am

Hi, I'm a Boris RED fan and user, and I was wondering if anybody knows how to properly build environment maps in RED using equirectangular images. I am trying to emulate what is done in this video.
I don't necessarily need to know how to create reflection maps based off of the environment maps (If you know how to though, I would appreciate those tips too.). I am trying to accomplish what is done in the second two-thirds of the above video when the scene is built and the scene cameras view the environment map in perspective, with proportional pan, proportional zoom, and realistic orbiting, giving the map the appearence of real...footage.

I think that I am going in the right direction by trying to use a 3D sphere in RED as the base for an equirectangular image. However, when I map an image to the sphere, put the sphere in a 3D container, and move the container's camera to inside the sphere, the inside of the sphere becomes invisible. It's kinda weerd. I can see the inside of the shpere while changing the position of the container's camera, or any other parameter...for that matter, but when I let go of my mouse after changing a parameter, the inside image of the shpere disappears. Boris RED settings are set to the factory default.

Could anybody who knows the best way to do what I am trying to do please share some tips? Any tutorials that anybody can supply links to would be very helpful as well.

All tips that I can get are very appreciated.

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peter mcauley
Re: Environment maps in Boris RED
on Nov 26, 2012 at 6:49:14 pm

Hi Daniel,

You can do this quite easily with Boris Blue. You'll have to be on Windows OS as the Boris Blue product is currently available only on the Windows platform but it's really easy to achieve the effect that you have in mind with this product. You can download the trial version of Boris Blue from this link:

You might be able to do some of this in RED, however Boris RED was not designed with this type of effect in mind, which is one of the reasons why we created Boris Blue. :)

I hope this helps,


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Daniel Skrobowski
Re: Environment maps in Boris RED
on Nov 27, 2012 at 5:52:30 am

Hey Peter, thanks for the advice. I did look up Boris BLUE again, and it does have the feature that would make this easier. However, I have a hunch that there is a relatively simple way to do what I am trying to do in RED as well.
The effect is achieved two ways in the first video that I posted. One method was to use AE CS6's built-in environment map feature. The other method was to use Video Copilot's Element 3D "Environment" feature, which looks very similar to the 3D sphere feature/capability in RED. This is why I am confident that it can be done properly in RED.
Here is another video that I quickly put together to demonstrate what I am trying to do.

3D sphere/environment map

As you can see, this is not my main machine that I use, and my trial version of RED has expired.
This method that I use would almost be perfect except for one glitch. The 3D sphere is set to a 99.99% wrap ammount. This is not desirable because one can see the crack in the sphere when the camera does a 360 degree turn. Setting the wrap ammount this way is the only method that I know of that will let the 3D container's camera look inside of the sphere. When I set the wrap amount to 100%, with all of the other parameters in the project the same as they were originaly, the camera blacks out when it gets inside the sphere.

Does anybody know how to do this properly or to get the visible crack in the sphere to be invisible?

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Daniel Skrobowski
Re: Environment maps in Boris RED
on Dec 9, 2012 at 11:17:31 pm

Here is a solution and method for creating an environment map in RED.

This method is similar to the method used in the After Effects tutorial video that I first posted.

To create an environment map:

1) Add 3D Sphere media.
2) (at default settings) Click the little S next to the Lock/Unlock Track button. The S should change to an M. This allows you to set different media for the inside and outside faces of the sphere, but what we will do is disable the visibility of the outside face.
3) Disable the visibility of the outside face of the sphere by clicking the Toggle Track Visibility option for the outside face of the sphere.
4) Apply an equirectangular environment map image to the inside face of the sphere by clicking the Change Track Media option for the inside face....
5) Enlarge the sphere to fill the composition window using the Scale X parameter in the sphere's position options.
6) Place the sphere inside of a 2D Composite container by clicking the Add Container button in your timeline tools.
7) You will probably have to decrease the distance parameter inside of the container Camera options.
8) Place media that you want to use in your environment inside of the container, and adjust the media's position parameters so that it is visible in front of the sphere.
9) Your environment is set up. Use the Tumble, Spin, and Rotation Position options for the conatiner to navigate your environment map. Don't attempt to change the container type from a 2D Composite to a 3D model container with a position camera. You will not experiance the same results.

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