How to render scenes with HDR maps in Blender 2.5
When we have to make presentations of small scaled like furniture, we must use a specific type of environment to create proper renderings. The so-called studio setup is my favorite environment to render furniture only images. Along with the studio setup, we can use HDR maps to help with the lighting of the scene and to have a environment to be used for materials such as glass and glossy surfaces, to generate reflections. In Blender 2.5 it is quite easy to add an HDR map to a scene.
If you never tried to use HDR maps in Blender 2.5, I just found a great tutorial created by an artist called Blender Nerd, showing how to render a scene using an HDR map.
I still remember the days when we had to use external render engines like YafRay to be able to render a scene with HDR. Now, it is a lot simpler.