Image Based Rendering (IBR) uses an High Dynamic Range (HDR
) image as environmental map in a digital model in place of sky and/or surroundings. This research project explores the range of architectural applications for IBR while addressing the difficulties that hamper the wide adoption of the technique. There are two immediate usages: 1) IBR provides better visualization capabilities for designers by creating realistic and physically accurate digital renderings. 2) The resultant renderings are valuable analytical tools for studying the qualitative and quantitative features of luminous environments.