Create a Starry Sky in Maya with the Arnold Skydome and HDRI


In this short video tutorial (just five minutes long) we explain how to create a starry sky in Maya with just a few clicks, using the Arnold Skydome. Using an HDRI night sky texture map (Google one to get started), we can create a night sky effect with little or no effort, using the Arnold Renderer.  To see the step by step plan, follow the outline below. You can find the tutorial video at YouTube here.

Lighting a Night Sky with the Arnold Skydome at YouTube

Create a Starry Sky in Maya - Work Method

  1. Create your project in Maya, and set to it
  2. Google HDRI night sky, and select a starry sky. Download it, and copy it to your Source Images folder in your Maya project
  3. In the dropdown menu (top left) select Rendering
  4. Find the Arnold menu top right. Lights > Skydome Light
  5. With the Skydome selected, go to the Attribute Editor (Ctrl+A for shortcut). Go to the aiSkyDomeLightShape1 tab
  6. Then click on the Input button of the Color, and a pop up will appear. Pick File option
  7. Where it says Image Name, select the folder icon, and upload your HDRI file
  8. You can download many sky types from the web, so you can easily change from night to day
  9. With the Skydome selected, within the attribute editor change the intensity about 3
  10. Go to the Arnold menu at the top again and select Render to open the render view to test the results.
Create a Starry Sky in Maya - YouTube Video