why is it that most have a really diffuse light even when there's a bright and clear sun in it while other HDRs that look similar make a nice and hard sunlight?
The difference between a good pay hdr map and a free shit hdr map
Because some realistic lighting is faked. If you have a scene where the camera is in an interior area and you can see the interior pretty well and also the clouds through a window, that scene is almost certaily "manually tweaked". It's a question of dynamic range. Some special tone mapping algorithms exist, but they're not simple to use and have side effects so artists don't bother and choose to fake it poorly.
>>580662This is actually true often. High-quality maps usually differ in that they have much higher actual contrast, and correct one, that's all