Feature Focus: Render View

Render View

At first glance, the Render View in HDR Light Studio can appear inferior to most modern renderers. First impressions can be deceptive. Let’s find out why the Render View is actually very smart and is making our users more productive than ever.

Tuned to the task in hand
First off, let’s remember the Render View is highly tuned to provide a fast and fluid interface for placing your lights and providing instant visual feedback on the lighting effect on the loaded scene. It’s not a final frame renderer!

The Render View is optimized to light a fixed camera view. Reflections will move position on your 3D model if the camera is moved, so it’s important to choose the camera views you want to light before loading your scene into HDR Light Studio. Your cameras will be imported into HDR Light Studio when using Alembic, FBX or Collada file formats.

Hogging the CPU
In HDR Light Studio 4, the Render View (LiveLight) behaved the same as other progressive ray-tracers. The rendering would start and collect more samples over time to improve the image quality/accuracy. But when the HDRI lighting is changed, the rendering would begin again from scratch using the new HDRI map. The end result: The renderer hogged the CPU and the render quality remained low for all lot of the time whilst lighting the shot.


A Smarter Approach
In HDR Light Studio 5 the Render View is smarter. At a small sacrifice to its speed of collecting samples, once rendering begins, changes to the HDRI lighting do not require the renderer to re-start because the image based lighting is cached. Therefore once the Render View has reached the desired sample level it no longer hogs the CPU and you will always be lighting a high quality view.

Render View

These advantages are less apparent with small simple scenes. But when a larger scene is being lit, it makes a really big difference.

The new Render View in HDR Light Studio 5 is good news for those using our Connections to 3D apps. The Render View can be used at the same time as your 3D apps interactive renderer without hogging the CPU resources. The end result is faster more responsive rendering in your main 3D software.

Additionally, HDR Light Studio 5 can be used on a very modest specification computer, with RAM being the only limiting factor in being able to load and light larger models. Because the render view is not invalidated with each lighting change, the longer the view collects samples, the higher quality render you are lighting. This makes HDR Light Studio responsive even on a 2 core computer.

No special graphics card or drivers are required as the Render View is CPU based only. So HDR Light Studio also plays very nicely with GPU renderers and is not competing for GPU resources.

Polishing Automotive Imagery

What a difference a few minutes in HDR Light Studio makes to the final image. See how Spellwork Pictures enhanced this shot using HDR Light Studio, to add more lighting to enhance the appearance of the car. A polished final result, rendered in V-Ray for 3ds Max.

Thanks to spellwork.de and moofe.com

Automotive CGI Studio Lighting Demo

Automotive Studio Lighting Demo

Maciek Ptaszynski has produced this fantastic ‘Automotive Studio Lighting’ Demonstration Video using HDR Light Studio 5, standalone. The final result above looks gorgeous.

Watch the video below to see Maciek light this shot from scratch, building up the lighting one light at a time in HDR Light Studio. The final shot is rendered in Maxwell Render.

Feature Focus: Canvas Zooming

Just one of the many new features in HDR Light Studio 5 is the ability to zoom into the HDRI design. Older versions of HDR Light Studio had a fixed size HDR canvas and only displayed the entire HDRI map. You couldn’t make the canvas any bigger or zoom into details.

In HDR Light Studio 5 you can zoom into any area of the map and see just how much detail and quality is contained within the image based light sources that come with the software. Here is a great example, see the detail contained within the bulb, both the dynamic range and resolution. You would never know it had that level of detail unless you zoomed in.

Canvas Zoom - Fine Detail




International CGI Workshop 2015


Lightmap Ltd are looking forward to exhibiting at the ‘International CGI Workshop 2015‘ event in Hamburg, on the 17th and 18th of June.

We are excited to meet with many existing customers and partners at this event, and to create new ones. The speaker line up is fantastic and also includes many users of our software.


The venue is a photographic studio in the heart of Hamburg. A fitting location for an event focused on those using digital technology to produce the finest photo real imagery for advertising and marketing.

Of course we will be demonstrating HDR Light Studio 5 and will be able to preview some improvements coming in version 5.2 also. We hope to see you there!

Find out more and book tickets here: International CGI Workshop 2015


Just some of the exhibitors at this years event.

MODO 901 Connection Released

MODO 901 Connection Released

We are pleased to announce that the MODO 901 Connection has been released and added to our downloads page. Customers can now use HDR Light Studio 5.1 in a connection with MODO 901. For more details about the MODO connection please visit our web page for this plug-in.

In addition to this, the MODO Connections for 701 and 801 have also been updated to provide significant performance improvements with live updates. Please update to HDR Light Studio 5.1 in order to use these new connections.

HDR Light Studio 5 comes to FMX 2015

FMX 2015

FMX – May 5th – 8th 2015

Lightmap will be exhibiting at FMX 2015, come and find us in the market place to get hands on with the latest release of HDR Light Studio. Our team will be delighted to see you!

The venue for FMX 2015 is Haus der Wirtschaft | Willi-Bleicher-Straße 19 | 70174 Stuttgart | Germany.

For more information about the event visit: www.fmx.de



Pixel Perfect Product Shots by PK3D Studio

Relonch In Hand 1


PK3D Studio has produced a stunning range of CGI images for the upcoming camera for iPhone – Relonch Camera.

The images were created with 3ds Max, V-Ray and HDR Light Studio. Every shot was lit using HDR Light Studio and the quality of the work is simply stunning. Piotr says “Without HDR Light Studio, lighting these shots would have taken much longer. It was so easy to adjust the lights appearance with the real-time feedback in HDR Light Studio’s render view”.

Her are some examples of the lighting for these shots. It doesn’t look pretty as an image, but it’s how those lights interact with the 3D model and materials that’s important. Each light has been placed using the LightPaint feature, clicking directly on the 3D model in the render view to put the light where it’s needed on the HDRI map.

Relonch Screen Grab 2

Relonch Screen Grab 3

Here’s some more lovely CGI shots from this project! They are not photographs… honestly.
Thanks so much for sharing Piotr!

Relonch Front DetailRelonch In hand 2Relonch Rear 1Relonch Corner Detail 1Relonch Rear



Transforming the lighting process in Cinema 4D

Michel Manfredi

HDR Light Studio is changing the way 3D artists light their shots in Cinema 4D. For example here are a range of shots and details from Michel Manfredi, a new user of HDR Light Studio. He is delighted with his new lighting workflow and the results he is getting using HDR Light Studio with Maxwell Render for C4D. It’s amazing to see how lighting has brought these shots and the materials to life.

Michel Manfredi - Bottle Detail 2

Look at the lovely details in those reflections. Plus the metallic sparkles zing from the HDRI reflections.

Michel Manfredi - Bottle Detail

In the case of this lipstick shot, the lighting is really simple, but perfect. HDR Light Studio allowed Michel to get the lights in the right place and control the appearance of the reflections with ease. The final results render fast using a single HDRI map for all lighting and reflections. We love the sub-surface catering on the top of the lipstick too.

Michel Manfredi - Lipstick

Check out more of Michel’s work at: https://www.behance.net/michelmanfredi