Academic Phoenix Plus covers the basics for lighting with HDRI’s and the Skydome light with Arnold.
Monica from Academic Phoenix Plus offers some fundamental insights into lighting with a series of tutorials that covers each light source in Arnold. The latest looks into the Skydome light, which lets you load HDR images and use them as lighting information.
Using HDR’s is a fast and easy way to get realistic lighting for any scene, using a high dynamic range image that acts as a light probe. Typically in 3D a skydome light plus an HDR will not only offer lighting information but also dictate the shadows, reflection, and colors cast by the lights in the scene from the image.